Revisiting the Origins of Covid-19

The question of biotechnology and ethics has become of great importance. The development of biotech has brought about significant changes and potential – some see it as a development, others as a threat. This article will not discuss the question of “Creating the Perfect Baby” as the MIT review states, but rather bioterrorism. During the start of the Covid era, talks of Covid-19 being intentionally or unintentionally manmade were dismissed as conspiracy theory. Those who even mentioned it were seen as irrational and uneducated people, but now the United States Intelligence Community (IC) concluded that it couldn’t deny the possibility of Covid-19 emerging from the laboratory. This article will explore this analysis by the US IC and see its consequences.

There are two main narratives stated in the IC report. One is that it “was caused by natural exposure to an animal infected with it or a close progenitor virus—a virus.” The second states, “laboratory-associated incidents, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” For the first narrative, four IC elements and the national intelligence asses it with low confidence. One IC element assesses the second narrative with moderate confidence. Three IC elements require more information.

Before you dismiss the second narrative, scientists work with viruses and even create variants to develop drugs and vaccines against them. Furthermore, SARS-like coronaviruses have been extensively studied, altered and manipulated. Moreover, a record of the NIH conference held in March 2020 showed that for some participants Covid-19 was more likely to have been lab caused. Dr Mike Farzan states, “how much could be in nature – accidental release or natural event? I am 70:30 or 60:40,” Bob Garry says, “I can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature,” but after speaking to Dr Fauci, he took a U-turn.  Another eminent doctor, Richard Ebright believes there's a possibility it came from a lab.

Highly respected scientists have called for “An appeal for an open scientific debate about the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2.” They state, “based on a re-analysis of the initial arguments, highlighted by the current knowledge about the virus; we show that conclusive arguments do not support the natural origin and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” In addition, research titled “Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment and animal samples of the Huanan Seafood Market” concludes that no virus was detected in the animal swabs taken in the market that supposedly caused the Covid outbreak. The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been collaborating with several USA organizations, such as US-based EcoHealth Alliance, as BBC reported to “look into possible coronaviruses from bats before the pandemic.”

If one looks at the evidence, one cannot help but not dismiss the idea of the USA and several other countries' funded research that included collaboration with multiple research institutes, such as the Wuhan institute of virology and that some leak occurred. Yet the White House is keen to dismiss such a narrative at any cost. The question of the origin of Covid-19 can be of great consequence as it will allow us to learn and prevent it from happening again. As the heat and controversy of Covid-19 are reducing, this will hopefully enable objective investigations to answer this question once and for all.