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Origin covid-19: why the interest in Chinese laboratory theory (Analysis)

2021-05-27T14:11:06.935Z

We are as far as ever from knowing how this virus came about, which is scary as there are increasing suggestions that it did not occur naturally.



Origin of covid-19 is again at the center of the debate 1:57

(CNN) - The

United States is closer than ever to beating covid-19, with half the country vaccinated and more restrictions lifted.

But we are still a long way from knowing how this virus came into being, which closed the world, which is terrifying as there are increasing suggestions that it did not occur naturally, as many experts have long argued.

The United States, with increasing urgency, is calling for more studies, warning of the stakes for future pandemics, and more openly considering the idea that errors or an accident in a Chinese laboratory caused the pandemic from CoviPrevious View (opens at a new tab) d-19.

The Chinese government says the case is closed.

What is the new?

A US intelligence report found that several researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized, a new detail on the severity of their symptoms.

It is not clear that the researchers contracted COVID-19 and the laboratory flatly denied the report, calling it a lie to promote the so-called laboratory leak theory about the origin of the disease.

Scientists affiliated with the institute have previously said that the institute did not come into contact with COVID-19 until December 30.

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In fact, the US had provided some funding for the study of coronaviruses and their transmission through bats, which had reached the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it would have been a "breach of duty" not to fund previous research on the coronavirus in bats in China.

"You don't want to study bats in Fairfax County, Virginia, to find out what the human-animal interface is that could lead to a species jump," Fauci said, adding that the US had to go "where the action is. ».

Separately at the White House, Fauci said many scientists still believe the disease occurred naturally, but it is also imperative to get to the bottom with more research.

An adviser to the World Health Organization, Jamie Metzl, said the laboratory leak theory is possible as long as scientists "poked, poked and studied" viruses with the good intention of developing vaccines.

"So I think what possibly happened was that there was an accidental leak followed by a criminal cover-up," said Metzl, who served in the Clinton administration at the US State Department and is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Fauci, America's leading infectious disease expert, also said this week that he is not convinced the disease occurred naturally and called for more research.

The bottom line: there must be more research.

The official version on the origin of covid-19 is not convincing enough

An in-depth study conducted by the WHO with the Chinese government, published in March, explored different possible origins of the disease and concluded that while it was not yet demonstrable how the disease evolved, it is likely that it was transferred to humans directly from bats or, more likely, an intermediate species that contracted it from bats and then passed it on to humans.

The WHO report argued that the laboratory leak theory was "extremely unlikely," citing the lack of infected laboratory workers before December as an argument against the theory.

The US intelligence report now suggests that the laboratory workers were ill before December.

Furthermore, even when it was released, WHO officials called for further investigation and greater openness on the part of the Chinese.

  • 14 countries and WHO director accuse China of hiding data from the investigation into the origins of the pandemic

Cover-ups from the start

Early in the outbreak, which China failed to adequately warn the world about, Chinese officials blamed the transmission on an early epicenter, a seafood market in Wuhan, though that now appears to be essentially a lie, according to Metzl.

In fact, there is ample evidence that the Chinese government tried to cover up the existence of the virus.

In February, CNN published a look at whistleblowers and truth tellers who warned about the virus as it was taking hold and who paid the price.

Some have disappeared, others have been detained by the Chinese authorities, while others contracted Covid-19 and died from the disease.

That report includes a timeline of warnings from doctors in China compared to government inaction.

'Whatever the source of the pandemic, that first month when China was spending all its energy trying to cover things up instead of fixing the problem, that's what allowed the stove fire to turn into a kitchen fire for become a house fire to become a world fire, ”Metzl said.

China has not wanted to undergo an open investigation;

he insisted on strict parameters for the earlier WHO study.

The US government and others have criticized this lack of transparency, and the WHO has also called for more studies.

The Biden administration has rejoined the WHO after the Trump administration removed the United States from the health organization.

Need for more study

A group of prominent scientists with relevant experience criticized the WHO report for not taking the laboratory leak theory seriously enough;

it was discarded within a few pages of a report of several hundred pages.

"We must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory side effects seriously until we have sufficient data," the scientists wrote in

Science Magazine.

Opacity has also contributed to the growth of conspiracy theories.

The more evidence there is for the lab leak theory, the more valid it becomes for people like Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who has promoted the idea that the virus was intentionally created as a biological weapon.

There is no evidence to specifically support that claim, and experts still say it is unlikely.

The Washington Post

published a look at how the questions, posed by Republicans like Cotton, as well as members of the Trump administration, and now the Biden administration, have led to a reassessment of the origins of the disease, which is definitely not have been traced.

Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that it was unlikely that the Wuhan lab would have manipulated the virus to make it more contagious through a controversial approach. gain of function investigation, but we have to find out what happened.

  • CNN exclusive: WHO mission in Wuhan finds possible signs of a more widespread original outbreak in 2019

This will happen again

While Chinese authorities have been unwilling to allow a more transparent investigation, Offit said the world needs it to protect itself against another pandemic.

"What I do know is that they have to allow this," Offit said.

“This is now the third pandemic strain to emerge in the last 20 years.

The first was SARS 1, the second was MERS.

I think we can assume that we are not done with this.

And he continued: “I think we should know this the moment it happens.

I mean it is unfair that we had to rely on a whistleblower in China to tell us that there was a virus that was circulating in Wuhan and it was killing people.

That slowed things down.

They didn't give us the opportunity to act as fast as we needed to and I think they are guilty of that. "

CNN Health's Ryan Pryor contributed to this report.

Wuhan

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-05-27

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