søndag 22. august 2021

The Wuhan lab leak theory is more about politics than science

If Joe Biden’s security staff are up to the mark, a new report on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic will be placed on the president’s desk this week. His team was given 90 days in May to review the virus’s origins after several US scientists indicated they were no longer certain about the source of Sars-CoV-2.

It will be intriguing to learn how Biden’s team answers the critically important questions that still surround the origins of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Did it emerge because of natural viral spillovers from bats to another animal and then into humans? Or did it leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? And, if so, had it been enhanced to make it especially virulent?

These are important questions – to say the least. If we want to prevent another pandemic, it would be very useful to know how this one started. However, given the paucity of new information Biden’s team will have unearthed over the past three months – while the Chinese authorities have continued to provide little extra data – it is unlikely hard answers will be provided this week.