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Technology The best way to get to the bottom of the Covid-19 lab leak theory (opinion)

03:35  28 may  2021
03:35  28 may  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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Lanhee J. Chen writes that President Joe Biden took an important step when he asked the US intelligence community to produce additional information, avenues of exploration and "specific questions for China" about the origins of Covid - 19 . But this alone is not enough if we want to uncover the truth.

Suddenly, talk of the Wuhan lab - leak theory seems to be everywhere. President Biden yesterday called on U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble their efforts” to determine the origin of Covid - 19 and figure out whether the virus that causes it accidentally leaked from a Chinese laboratory . The subject is getting more attention because some scientists who were once skeptical of the laboratory theory have expressed new openness to it. Two weeks ago, 18 scientists wrote a letter to the journal Science calling for a new investigation and describing both the animal-to-human theory and the

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called for an inquiry by US intelligence agencies into the true origins of Covid-19. If this probe reveals new information, it could offer insight into the validity of the hotly-debated theory that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

a group of people walking down a street: Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus make a visit to the institute in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images) © HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/AFP via Getty Images Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus make a visit to the institute in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The scientific research facility was known to have been conducting research on coronaviruses. The "lab leak" explanation, which was panned and dismissed by a number of analysts, gained new life after the Wall Street Journal reported on a previously undisclosed US intelligence report revealing that three researchers from the Wuhan lab became so sick with Covid-19-like symptoms in November 2019 -- before official reports of the first outbreak -- that they had to seek hospital care.

How the Liberal Media Dismissed the Lab-Leak Theory and Smeared Its Supporters

  How the Liberal Media Dismissed the Lab-Leak Theory and Smeared Its Supporters Reporters turned an ambiguous story into “moral clarity.”The hypothesis is far from proven. But this account of the virus’s origins is highly plausible, and at least as well-grounded as the original story of an infection that naturally leapt from a bat to a person.

After a year of dismissal, the theory that Covid - 19 originated in a Chinese laboratory is being resurrected in the mainstream media. But the ‘new’ report is just rehashed old claims, only fit to prop up Trump’s anti-China legacy. Just as the World Health Assembly is kicking off, the Wuhan lab theory of Yet it refuses to go away – why? Conservative voices appear to see this article, for all its flaws, as a form of vindication, a course correction for a media which was otherwise dismissive of the president. As Glenn Greenwald tweeted: “Major media outlets spent a year demonizing the lab - leak theory as

The lab leak theory gained traction recently, including this week after The Wall Street Journal reported that three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell so ill that they were hospitalized in November 2019 — just before the first reported COVID - 19 cases. The article cited “a previously White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday fended off questions at her daily press briefing from reporters about why the US hasn’t done more to get to the bottom of the pandemic’s origins. A Washington Post reporter asked Psaki, “Wouldn’t there naturally be quite a curiosity within the Biden

The true origins of Covid-19 remain a mystery -- one complicated by the recent escalation of geopolitical tensions between the US and China. To be sure, Biden took an important step when he asked the US intelligence community to produce additional information, avenues of exploration and "specific questions for China" about the origins of Covid-19. But this, alone, is not enough if we want to uncover the truth.

The Biden administration should itself -- separate and apart from the World Health Organization -- lead a multilateral effort to investigate the origins of the virus. We should share our intelligence with other countries that are seeking answers, pool our collective knowledge about the origins of the virus and, together, place pressure on China to allow for access to the facilities and data that would help answer the remaining questions about the origins of Covid-19.

Why the lab-leak theory is being taken seriously

  Why the lab-leak theory is being taken seriously The claim Covid-19 may have leaked from a Chinese laboratory is gaining traction. Here's what we know.But in recent weeks the controversial claim that the pandemic might have leaked from a Chinese laboratory - once dismissed by many as a fringe conspiracy theory - has been gaining traction.

This has served him well during the Covid - 19 pandemic, which saw the same media that was supposed to be covering him critically giving him tongue bath after tongue bath. Presumably Fauci was forced to go back to that lab - leak loose end because he and the rest of the US military-industrial complex couldn’t make anything convincing out of the bat soup foolishness. And if the investigative teams looking for any morsel of proof to prop up a blame-the-Chinese origin story can’t find one?

COVID - 19 pandemic. Almost instantaneously, respectable media voices have switched from writing off the lab leak theory to believing that is somewhere closer to probable than possible. While there is still only an amount of circumstantial evidence pointing to the lab theory , there is more and more smoke around the fire. Our corporate media is going to stuff this down the memory hole and make their previous statements and stances disappear . Experts, cable news hosts and opinion writers are going to move on as though they hadn’t spent the last year labeling anyone who attempted to even explore

The lab leak theory has been judged by at least one US intelligence agency as the more likely explanation for Covid-19's origins, while two agencies think the virus was more likely spread to humans from an infected animal. Biden noted that the existing intelligence assessments were of sufficiently low confidence that neither the lab leak theory nor the one that the virus emerged from natural causes could be ruled out. Earlier this month, eighteen scientists from major research universities around the world wrote a letter in a major scientific journal arguing that "hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers" had to be seriously assessed and investigated in a transparent and independent manner.

An investigation into the true origins of the virus is essential not only for scientific reasons, but also because policymakers around the world need this knowledge to better prepare themselves for future pandemics. The World Health Organization is a multilateral body designed to promote public health around the globe and would be a natural candidate to lead an investigation into the origins of the virus. But the WHO and its current director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have a history of being too closely tied to China. Ghebreyesus was supported by China's government when he sought leadership of the WHO and was quick to effusively praise Beijing's early actions on the coronavirus when still little was known about it, how broadly it would spread and how deadly it would be. Third-party assessments of the WHO's performance at the start of the pandemic have faulted the group for being too willing to placate China and, by extension, not quick enough to sound the alarm on the pandemic and its global impact.

Just Because We’re Talking About the Lab Leak Theory Doesn’t Mean It’s Come True

  Just Because We’re Talking About the Lab Leak Theory Doesn’t Mean It’s Come True The facts have not really changed even if the conversation has.But we’re not talking about the lab leak theory now because there’s direct evidence for it, or even much evidence for it at all. We are talking about it because there is an ongoing scientific inquiry into how the pandemic started, and because a number of journalists are following those lines of inquiry or see talking about it as a corrective to past bias. Simply: There is a very small possibility that the virus came from a lab, a possibility some scientists (and now many other people) are interested in exploring further.

US agencies have been pursuing COVID - 19 's origins since the government first recognised the virus as a serious health risk in early 2020. Earlier this week, US government sources said a still-classified US intelligence report circulated during former president Donald Trump's administration alleged that three researchers at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill Senate Republicans on Wednesday grilled the nation's top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci, over his position on the origin of the COVID - 19 virus and previous US government funding of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The lab - leak theory emerged in January 2020, when the virus was still mostly confined to China and had killed hundreds, rather than millions. Links between WIV and the virus were floated in right-wing news organizations like the Washington Times , while former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon We may never know exactly how the coronavirus that causes covid - 19 spread to humans. Scientists still haven’t pinpointed the origin of the influenza strain that killed millions in 1918. Although civet cats were speculated within months to be the intermediate host in a 2003 SARS outbreak, it took

Lanhee Chen wearing a suit and tie: Lanhee J. Chen © Brunswick Group Lanhee J. Chen

It should be no surprise, then, that the WHO's own investigation into the origins of Covid-19 concluded that a lab leak was probably not the cause of the pandemic and that infection from natural sources was more likely. But investigators were only permitted to examine research conducted by Chinese state scientists and did not have full access to the data or facilities that would have allowed them to assess whether the virus that causes Covid-19 may have been present before cases of the disease were first confirmed in China in December 2019.

American leaders have expressed their own doubts about both the transparency and independence of the investigation, intimating that China stood in the way of a full accounting. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, for example, noted "deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them."

Beijing, for its part, considers the case closed and has argued that the attention should be turned to other countries for the role they may have played in the early days of the pandemic. In fact, China's government has vigorously denied the lab leak theory, calling it "a conspiracy created by US intelligence agencies."

Fauci worked behind the scenes to cast doubt on Wuhan lab leak hypothesis, emails show

  Fauci worked behind the scenes to cast doubt on Wuhan lab leak hypothesis, emails show Dr. Anthony Fauci quietly worked behind the scenes to help cast doubt on the Wuhan lab leak possibility in favor of the natural origins hypothesis during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, newly released emails show. © Provided by Washington Examiner Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared to provide guidance to scientists who pushed back against the lab leak hypothesis, and he shared articles with reporters and other health officials that critiqued the possibility that COVID-19 may have escaped from a Chinese government lab.

In late March, the US joined with 13 other countries in calling on the WHO to conduct a "transparent and independent analysis and evaluation" of the pandemic, "free from interference and undue influence." More specifically, the Biden administration is calling on the WHO to complete a second phase of its investigation in a way that allows "international experts the independence to fully assess the source of the virus and the early days of the outbreak."

Unfortunately, the Biden administration remains far too deferential to the WHO and places too much faith in the organization's ability to manage an investigation that will be any more thorough or, more importantly, independent of the influence of China's government.

While China may continue to stonewall an outside investigation, a US-led multilateral investigation can nonetheless get closer to the answers we seek about what happened during the early days of the pandemic. Perhaps most importantly, this effort can directly address the lab leak theory -- something that Beijing has little interest in even exploring.

Biden has been eager to redouble our engagement and work together with America's friends and allies around the world. Getting to the root cause of a pandemic that has already killed nearly 3.5 million people globally presents a golden opportunity to do just that.

Wuhan lab collaborator recused from Lancet’s COVID-19 origins investigation .
Peter Daszak, a longtime collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology who steered hundreds of thousands of dollars in National Institutes of Health funding to the Chinese lab, has been recused from a COVID-19 origins investigation run by a commission organized under the auspices of the Lancet medical journal. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, which will “focus on analyzing data on all of the theories put forward on the origins of COVID," stated on its website that Daszak, who had been listed as a chairman of the origins task force as early as December, is now “recused from Commission work on th

usr: 2
This is interesting!