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China, Fauci and the Origins of Covid


Before Covid-19 ravaged the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded coronavirus research that included work at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The idea was to study the ability of such viruses to attack humans, but could a Fauci-funded experiment actually be the source of the deadly global infection? In an exhaustive account of the viral possibilities published this week by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nicholas Wade argues that the Chinese lab is the most likely source of the world-wide agony.

Left-leaning journalists who don’t like where this story is going may struggle to dismiss the author given his establishment credentials. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists describes him this way:

Nicholas Wade is a science writer, editor, and author who has worked on the staff of Nature, Science, and, for many years, the New York Times.

The former Timesman writes:

The virus that caused the pandemic is known officially as SARS-CoV-2, but can be called SARS2 for short. As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped… it seems to me that proponents of lab escape can explain all the available facts about SARS2 considerably more easily than can those who favor natural emergence.

Mr. Wade describes a key Chinese researcher whose work received support from Dr. Fauci’s institute via a U.S. group called EcoHealth Alliance:

Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by China’s leading expert on bat viruses, Shi Zheng-li or “Bat Lady,” mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected around a hundred different bat coronaviruses…

It cannot yet be stated that Shi did or did not generate SARS2 in her lab because her records have been sealed, but it seems she was certainly on the right track to have done so. “It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice,” says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety.

Mr. Wade then details at length why he believes a lab-created virus in this case is much more likely than a natural one. His case in the following paragraphs contains much jargon but his argument is clear: The scourge was particularly suited to attack humans and yet there’s little if any evidence showing a natural evolution from a virus that attacks bats to a virus that attacks people:

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