Bruce Y. Lee
On the one corner are some people in the U.S.
Then, Steve Mosher wrote on February 22 an opinion piece for the New York Post entitled, “Don’t buy China’s story: The
So what evidence
Well, as Cotton picked out, there just happens to be a
As you probably know, proximity alone should not imply guilt. That would be like claiming that you farted whenever there’s a bad smell and you happen to be in the vicinity.
Plus, it’s a lot easier to leak a pocket of air though your butt than a virus from a BSL-4 facility. BSL-4 facilities maintain the highest level of security among bio-laboratories since they do work
Is it unusual
Not to be outdone, some in China
Yes, the claim is that the U.S.
The back-and-forth dialogue has continued with President Donald Trump
When questioned why he was using this label rather than the real scientific name of the virus, Trump claimed that it was in response to the claim that the U.S.
Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.
So, it looks like conspiracy theorists on both sides haven’t really provided any compelling evidence that SARS-CoV2 was produced in a lab, whether in the U.S., in China, or in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
In fact, there is not only a lack of evidence supporting these conspiracy theories, there has been growing strong scientific evidence against both of them. Scientists, you know the ones who are actually trying to find the truth and solve a problem rather than blame people, have been conducting genetic analyses to determine where the virus came from and how it ended up infecting humans. Although viruses
Indeed, strong clues had already emerged by February 26, 2020, when a Perspectives piece was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the piece, David M.
This wasn’t exactly a case of same bat channel, same bat time. But the first, more deadlier SARS virus seemed to cause the 2002-2003 outbreak after it had managed to jump from bats to humans via intermediate hosts such as masked palm civets. Yes, some masked beings may have inadvertently partnered with bats to bring the original SARS virus to humans. So it wouldn’t be too surprising if something like that happened again for SARS-CoV2.
Even more evidence of a natural rather than human-made origin for SARS-CoV2 has emerged from a study described in a research letter just published in Nature Medicine. In the letter, a research team (Kristian G. Andersen from The Scripps Research Institute, Andrew Rambaut from the University of Edinburgh, W. Ian Lipkin from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, Edward C. Holmes from The University of Sydney and Robert F. Garry from Tulane University) described how they had analyzed the genetic sequences that code for the protein spikes on the surface of SARS-CoV2. The virus looks sort of like a medieval mace with multiple spikes sticking out from its spherical shape. These spikes aren’t just for show as the virus uses them to latch on to a cell that it wants to invade and then push its way into the cell. Very medieval stuff.
Apparently, portions of these spike proteins are so effective in targeting specific receptors on human cells that it is hard to imagine humans manufacturing them, not with known existing technology. The researchers then concluded that this feature and thus the new
In fact, the research team found that the SARS-CoV-2 structure in general is quite different from what humans would have likely concocted. If a human had wanted to create a viral weapon, he or she would have started with the structure of a virus that’s already known to cause illness in people. Naturally, if you want to make a weapon, you may want to start with something like a grenade launcher rather than a smoothie maker, not that the virus looks like either. Instead, the structure of SARS-CoV2 is quite similar to those of viruses known to infect bats and
So all of this further supports the theory that the virus jumped from bats to humans via some intermediate animal host. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the virus started causing trouble as soon as it started infecting humans. An alternative possibility is that it jumped a
The findings from the genetic analyses are consistent with how SARS-CoV2 is currently behaving. The virus is not acting like a bio-weapon right now. The best bio-weapons kill at a much higher rate and can be readily transported and released. Imagine being told that a bio-weapon might take the lives of 1% to 3.4% of the people that it infects but you don’t quite know specifically which ones. The difference between SARS-CoV2 and pathogens like the Ebola Virus or anthrax is like the difference between a bunch of sofas and a collection of missiles. Sure, the former can cause
So there you have it: scientific evidence trumping conspiracy theories. Will all of these scientific findings finally quash the “virus-was-made-in-a-lab-and-it-is-your-fault” rhetoric between the politicians and on social media? Probably not. Since when has science stopped such political rhetoric. Maybe, though, it will get more people to focus on the much more important matter at hand: trying to control this pandemic together.