The Origins of Covid-19 By Brian Simpson
Those who questioned the received view of the origin of Covid-19, earlier in the year, received the shut down treatment from the establishment, who were set on the idea that this was a natural virus, that jumped species, not something created in the Wuhan lab. Now, however, we are seeing the mainstream media take the first baby steps in beginning a long-needed investigation of the origins of this most politically correct of bugs.
“After so much death and illness, a mystery from the first days of the novel coronavirus has yet to be solved. We still don’t understand its origins or how it became a global killer. The answers lie in China, and quite possibly beyond. The world needs a credible, impartial investigation to better prepare for future pandemics.
Most likely, the virus was a zoonotic spillover, a leap from animals to humans, which have become more common as people push into new areas where they have closer contact with wildlife. The facts are still extremely sparse. The closest-known relatives to this coronavirus were collected from bats in China’s Yunnan province in 2012 to 2013 and in 2019. The first one matches the virus genetic sequence by 96.2 percent, and the second one by 93.3 percent. But with a genome size of about 30,000 nucleotides, the closest bat virus is still nearly 1,200 nucleotides distant.
Moreover, the first outbreak was reported more than 1,000 miles away from Yunnan in Wuhan, Hubei province. How did it cross time and distance? Was there another animal intermediary? David A. Relman, a Stanford University microbiologist, writes in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “the ‘origin story’ is missing many key details,” including a recent detailed evolutionary history of the virus, identity of its most recent ancestors and “surprisingly, the place, time, and mechanism of transmission of the first human infection.”
Beyond the blame game, there are troubling questions in China that must be examined, including whether the coronavirus was inadvertently spread in an accident or spill from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which had previously carried out research on bat coronaviruses. The institute collected samples from the Mojiang mine in Yunnan province in China in 2012 and 2013. Earlier in 2012, six miners at Mojiang exposed to bats and bat feces were hospitalized suffering from an illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and three died. The disease was similar if not identical to covid-19 and may have been a previously unrecognized parent virus. Conspiracy theorists have proposed more outlandish scenarios of a deliberately created pathogen, but they do not hold much water.
The Lancet Commission, formed by the British medical journal in July, has made a primary goal identifying the origins of covid-19 and averting future zoonotic pandemics. The journal declared “the evidence to date supports the view” that covid-19 “is a naturally occurring virus rather than the result of laboratory creation and release.” But the commission says, “The possibility of laboratory involvement in the origins of the pandemic should be examined with scientific rigor and thoroughness, and with open scientific collaboration.”
That is not bad at all for a mainstream article. What took them so long?