CONSPIRACY THEORIES SUGGEST THAT THE CORONAVIRUS WAS CREATED IN A LABORATORY
Scientists still disagree with this theory, but some studies have shown that there were a significant number of early patients who did not have contact with the market, and that it could have spread among the residents of Wuhan before it entered the crowded market, where it had the ability to spread more widely. This is one of the many theories that experts have discussed in the months since the virus was officially recognized.
Christian Andersen, an evolutionary biologist at the SCRIPPS Research Institute, believes that this theory is “quite plausible”, and calculated that the virus could have infected its first victim as early as October 1, based on a study of 27 genomes of early patients.
Although news of the virus did not reach local or international media until early January, rumors of SARS-like illness spread on social media and among medical professionals throughout December.
For some reason that is still not entirely clear, the Chinese government did everything possible to prevent news of the outbreak, and even went so far as to silence some medical professionals who were trying to warn the world about the virus, after treating the first patients.
Some journalists were also arrested for reporting on the virus, which the government did not approve. The behavior of the Chinese government and its response in the first days of the outbreak aroused suspicion among many people both in China and abroad.
There are several journalists, politicians, and even some scientists who believe that the coronavirus may have originated in a bio lab in Wuhan.
A document published and later deleted by Chinese scientists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao said the virus “probably” originated from one of two laboratories in Wuhan.
“We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was located just 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly studied the history of the laboratories and suggested that the coronavirus probably originated from the laboratory, ” the document says.
Although the report was deleted, it gave some insight into the real-world security problems previously faced by laboratories in Wuhan. The report highlights cases where workers who were quarantined or infected after lab accidents, including one researcher who isolated himself for two weeks after blood from a sick bat got on his skin.
In laboratories, researchers can customize or combine deadly viruses to create mutated strains of the original disease. A 2013 report in Nature showed that scientists in China were creating hybrid viruses in laboratories.
“A team of scientists in China created hybrid viruses by mixing genes from H5N1 and the H1N1 strain after the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and showed that some hybrids can spread through the air between Guinea pigs,” the article says.
The results of the hybrid virus experiment were published in the journal Science. Such experiments are usually designed to study diseases so that they can be better treated and prevented. But other studies have included deliberately turning viruses into even more deadly than they already were.
Research for SARS, which is very similar to the new coronavirus, requires the BSL-3 laboratory to meet international standards, so research on this type of virus could be conducted in any of the city’s laboratories, as well as substantial evidence that the Chinese government could ignore many of these standards.
This type of accident is not unheard of, in fact they often happen in China, the United States, and wherever these labs operate, as detailed in a Vox report last year.
According to the scientist, the SARS virus has been released several times from the CDC’s high-level storage facilities in Beijing. These strange coincidences attracted the attention of us Senator Tom cotton, who openly expressed his opinion that the virus could have appeared in one of these laboratories.
Other experts have also come out in support of the laboratory leak theory, including Francis Boyle, who drafted the biological weapons counterterrorism act of 1989.
A statement released by a group of international scientists last week sought to dispel these theories, pointing to an analysis that showed that the coronavirus most likely ” originated in the wild.”
However, many, if not most, of these laboratory experiments were conducted on animals, including bats that are not native to Wuhan, since the fact that this virus originated in an animal does not mean that the animal “patient zero” did not come from the laboratory.
In a recent notification from the Chinese Ministry of science and technology, the Ministry’s Director called for tougher security measures at biological sites where pathogens are processed, prompting some to suggest that the new security call is a response to the recent leak.
According to the Yangtze Daily, the Deputy Director of the P4 Lab in Wuhan, Shi Zhengli, issued a statement on February 2 saying:
“I swear on my life that the new 2019 coronavirus has nothing to do with our lab. This virus is a punishment imposed on humanity by nature to condemn the modern way of life of mankind. For those of you who believe the rumors or so-called scientific analysis of unqualified researchers, I advise you to shut up!»