Wait, How Many Coincidences Does the Natural Spillover Theory Require?

Political News

Security personnel stand outside Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, February 3, 2021.
(Thomas Peter/Reuters)

As we contemplate how the COVID-19 pandemic began, let’s add up all of the strange and unusual pieces of information that, in the eyes of the lab leak skeptics, are complete coincidences.

  • In 2009, EcoHealth Alliance’s Alexsei Chmura led expeditions to collect samples of viruses from bats in caves in southern China. He did not wear a mask or other personal protective gear, telling science writer David Quammen, “I guess it’s like not wearing a seat belt.”
  • March 2018 grant proposal from EcoHealth to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) proposed “introduc[ing] appropriate human-specific cleavage sites” into SARS-like viruses; in other words, to take existing bat viruses and make them more likely to infect human beings. The proposal declared, “Dr. Shi, Wuhan Institute of Virology, will conduct viral testing on all collected samples, binding assays and some humanized mouse work.”
  • The National Institute of Health revealed last week that EcoHealth Alliance had non-deliberately made viruses more virulent during their research work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “The limited experiment described in the final progress report provided by EcoHealth Alliance was testing if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor on a mouse model,” Tabak wrote. (Before the pandemic, Chinese research scientists had engineered a supply of micewith “humanized” lungs, to give a better sense of how these viruses would affect human beings.) “All other aspects of the mice, including the immune system, were unchanged,” the letter continues. “In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 WIV1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with the WIV1 bat coronavirus.” NIH emphasized that “as sometimes occurs in science, this was an unexpected result of the research, as opposed to something that the researchers set out to do.”
  • According to Emily Kopp of Roll Call, “the NIH’s letter states that EcoHealth violated a provision in its contract requiring a report to government funders should one of the viruses in its experiment produce “a one log increase in growth.” In other words, EcoHealth was not supposed to enhance a virus’s ability to grow by a factor of 10 without notifying NIH. EcoHealth, working with the Wuhan lab, created novel coronaviruses that enhanced viral growth by 1,000-fold to 10,000-fold, orders of magnitude greater than the limit that should have triggered further NIH review, according to agency documents made public in recent weeks. The increase in viral load, which is closely tied to transmissibility, also resulted in more severe disease in mice in some cases.”
  • The Wuhan Institute of Virology kept live bats within its walls, a verified fact that EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak initially denied.
  • American officials who visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 reported to the U.S. State Department that the labs suffered from “a serious shortage of the highly trained technicians and investigators required to safely operate a [Biosafety Level] 4 laboratory.”
  • Shi Zhengli, nicknamed “Bat Woman,” said in a March 2020 interview with Scientific American that when she first heard of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, one of her first questions was, “Could they have come from our lab?” However, since the pandemic began, she vehemently denied that the WIV was the source of the virus.
  • In late autumn/early winter of 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Wuhan Institute of Virology was one of three institutions in the world conducting gain-of-function-research on novel coronaviruses found in bats.
  • SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has not yet been found naturally occurring in any other bat or animal in China – at least, according to Chinese authorities.
  • Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues at the University of Arizona and Illumina, Inc., attempted to run simulations of natural spillover of viruses from animals. They concluded that depending upon certain variables, anywhere from 70 percent to 99.6 percent of the time, the virus would not spread quickly enough from one person to the next and would go extinct. SARS-CoV-2 is exceptionally contagious among human beings compared to the average bat or other animal virus – almost genetically optimized for this purpose.
  • Similarly, research published by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2018 examined the villagers who lived closest to the coronavirus-carrying bats in Yunnan Province and concluded that natural “spillover” from bats directly to humans is “relatively rare” – just 2.7 perecnt of the villagers had antibodies indicating exposure to a bat virus.

So, in theory, the pandemic could have started with some random Chinese person who doesn’t have any connection to the Wuhan Institute of Virology having some spectacularly unlucky run-in with a bat or other animal…

….and that random Chinese person just happened to catch the exceptionally rare naturally-occurring animal virus that infects, sickens, and spreads among human beings like wildfire…

…on the metaphorical doorstep of one of the three labs in the world doing gain-of-function research on novel coronaviruses found in bats…

You Might Like

…and that spectacularly contagious virus also just happens to be nearly impossible to find in any other bats or animals in China.

But that’s one hell of a series of coincidences, isn’t it?

Articles You May Like

Charts suggest stocks may fall further before powerful Santa Claus rally kicks in, Cramer says
‘MSNBC Republican’ Michael Steele: Give Me Angry Dem Judges Over ‘Stupid’ GOP Ones
Painting Depicting George Floyd as Jesus Christ ‘Dangerously Confuses Students,’ Catholic Watchdog Group Says
Observations On Omicron: Six Takeaways Regarding The Latest Covid Variant
Feminism Has Made Western Women Stupid and Dangerous to Themselves and Others

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *