The leaked email chain has given even more weight to the idea that the Covid lab leak is a “reasonable” explanation, something the co-author of Viscount Ridley’s book, Harvard scientist Dr Alina Chna, told MPs at a Science and Technology Select Committee hearing.
She said last December: ‘I think the lab origin is more likely than not. Right now, it’s not safe for people who know about the origin of the pandemic to come forward. But we live in an era where there is so much information being stored that it will eventually come out. We have heard from many top virologists that a genetically-engineered origin is reasonable and that includes virologists who made modifications to the first SARS virus.”
Debating the original draft of the paper, one of the authors admitted in an email that the virus would look the same whether it had evolved naturally or in lab mice in what is called “serial passaging”. On February 8 2020, Dr Robert Garry, from the University of Sydney, noted that similar effects had been observed when bird flu had been passaged in laboratory chickens, the Telegraph reports.
But once the paper was published, the authors had completely ruled out this possibility. They concluded: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus”. Also on February 8, Prof Edward Holmes from the University of Sydney, who co-wrote the paper, mentioned that he knew “a lot of people” who believed that the virus did leak from the Wuhan lab.
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