A Review of ‘Origin of COVID - Following the Clues,’ by Nicholas Wade

The article “Origin of COVID - Following the Clues” by Nicholas Wade is a comprehensive investigation into the COVID19 pandemic.  Wade is a science journalist who has written articles for the big publishers.  His Origin of COVID article is a clear-eyed analysis of what we do and don’t know.  He tells us the details that lead a reasonable reader to conclude that the Wuhan Virology Institute created the COVID19 virus and through sloppy techniques released the virus.  The disease spread rapidly, killing millions and attacking elderly populations in particular.

Nicholas Wade (Photo credit: Jane Gitschier CC BY 2.5 license

There are two main theories of how the COVID19 virus developed:

1.  Nature-Made:  the virus developed naturally in bats and spread by a wet market (live animals slaughtered on the spot) in Wuhan.  Darkly referred to as the ‘bat soup theory’.

2.  Lab-Made:  the virus was manipulated in the Wuhan Virology Institute laboratory to make it more infectious and more dangerous to humans.  It then escaped from the lab.

Nature-Made Support:

There are a few shaky reasons that scientists and the media use to support the Nature-Made idea:

1.  The COVID19 virus is from the same family of naturally occurring viruses that SARS and MERS came from, so there is a likelihood of natural origin.

2.  Numerous people from the wet market in Wuhan became ill with the virus, thereby demonstrating a natural origin.

3.  A group of scientists wrote a letter supporting natural origin for the virus and it was published in Lancet, a respected journal.

4.  Another letter, published in a different journal reported that scientists had determined the virus was Nature-Made because there were no traces of laboratory-type genetic manipulation.

5.  The DNA backbone that was involved had not been published in a science journal (DNA backbones are easy to make and using an unpublished one is possible).

6.  Scientists historically doubt and correct each other and, in this case, scientists have said the virus was Nature-Made.

Laboratory-Made Support: 

The author lays out serious problems with the much-touted theory that the virus developed in bats naturally and then coincidentally chose Wuhan’s wet market as the place to begin spreading to humans:

1.  Prior to the virus spreading widely there were people who got sick without any contact with the wet market.

2.  Wuhan is home to the Institute of Virology which specializes in researching Corona viruses of the COVID19 type.

3.  The bat caves are 1500 km away and the virus would have had to travel to Wuhan before anyone became sick.  Bats only hunt within 50 km of their cave.

4.  At the time the virus broke out in humans, it was cold outdoors, and the bats were hibernating.

5.  The Chinese have failed to find COVID19 in any bat population, or in any animal population despite testing over 80,000 animals in the last year.

6.  Unlike SARS1 and MERS, the virus appeared fully formed and infectious with no intermediate, lesser infections seen.

7.  Wuhan Institute of Virology does gain-of-function research that modifies viruses to more easily infect humans and was working on this particular virus at the time.

8.  Wuhan Institute of Virology was documented to use inadequate safety rules when working with dangerous viruses because it is cumbersome to wear the spacesuit type of lab gear.

9.  Virologists are a close-mouthed group who are not likely to criticize one another since it might jeopardize their own future research money.  

10.  The World Health Organization investigative team encountered closed, inaccessible files at the Virology Institute, and one of the team members was the clearly biased Peter Daszak who had funded research there.

11.  COVID19 has not left a trail of infection in the natural environment like SARS and MERS had done.

12.  One new method of gene manipulation for gain-of-function called serial passage leaves no trace of the manipulation.

13.  The grant that the Virology Institute was working on was designed to pick the most infectious, robust virus by attacking human cells in a petri dish (in vitro) and infecting humanized mice (in vivo).

14.  The virus contains a unique cleavage site (a piece of its anatomy) not found in other SARS viruses.  This is seen by experts as a smoking gun of laboratory manipulation.

Summary and conclusion:

A comparison of the two analyses shows that the Lab-Made theory is much more likely but cannot be totally proved because the incriminating files are hidden by the Chinese government.  Wade states: “Natural emergence remained a conjecture which, however plausible to begin with, had gained not a shred of supporting evidence in over a year.”

Nicholas Wade also addresses the question of why one would want to create a highly contagious, human-targeted virus in a laboratory.  It’s known as gain-of-function testing.  It is allegedly used to scout the future of Nature-Made viruses so that we can be ready with therapeutic treatments and vaccines for people in the event nature does make the virus.  What the author studiously avoids is any suggestion the research is biowarfare research in civilian clothing.

The next question of interest is who is paying for this research.  As the Virology Institute is located in Wuhan, China one would expect the Chinese were funding it 100%.  Not so.  Astonishingly, US tax dollars are involved.  Peter Daszak is president of EcoHealth Alliance of New York.  Daszak’s agency obtained a grant from the NIAID, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesDr. Anthony Fauci is the long-term director of the NIAID, appointed in 1984.  Daszak used US government grant money to pay for Coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  So, the US government had indirect responsibility for this pandemic if the Lab-Made option is true.  So how hard are we actually looking at the Lab-Made theory?

Who is responsible for this catastrophe?   Chinese virologists are the ones who did the gain-of-function testing that created the monster in the virus, so they hold ultimate responsibility.  The Chinese central government permitted the experimentation, so they are culpable as well.  The entire community of virologists who cover for one another and avoid rocking the boat, who know of and keep quiet about this type of research are responsible.  The US through the NIH/NIAID must be held responsible in part for allowing a grantee to farm out dangerous research to a substandard lab in a foreign country.

And regarding the US responsibility, for three years the US government had a moratorium on gain-of-function testing.  However, someone wrote in a loophole allowing the research to continue if the “funding agency considers the research urgent necessary to protect the public health or national security.”  Apparently, this loophole was used to continue the grant for Daszak’s Chinese research.  In retrospect, this research is a perfect example of why the US government originally chose to stop scientists from creating human-targeting monster viruses in the lab.

One or both of the following people were responsible for using the footnote loophole to continue the research: Dr. Anthony Fauci or his boss Dr. Francis Collins.  Since the research moratorium has expired, the US government replaced it with another surveillance method to keep scientists from doing viral gain-of-function research.  Unfortunately, both Dr. Fauci and Dr.  Collins have refused to flag any research as needing surveillance under the P3CO Framework.  Gain-of-function research apparently continues on their watch against the will of the American government.

This author’s (Wright’s) opinion is that while Nicholas Wade’s article does not mention it, these monsters in the laboratory can be used as bioweapons.  It’s a legacy technique of biowarfare, wearing a prevention trench coat.

Marilyn Wright holds a doctor of public health in health education.  She is a retired Instructor in Business and Organizational Security Management.

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