Wuhan lab leak labeled as possible viable cause of COVID-19 pandemic
Let’s start first with the end of the letter that the experts published in the journal Science Last Thursday it caused a lot of noise in the international medical and scientific communities. The 18 signatories end it by saying: “Finally, in this period of unfortunate anti-Asian sentiment in some countries, we see that at the start of the pandemic, it is doctors, scientists, journalists and Chinese citizens who have shared crucial information about the spread of the virus with the world, often at great personal cost. We must show the same determination in promoting an impartial science-based discourse on this difficult but important issue. “
In closing, scientists hope to avoid criticism that their argument that a lab leak in Wuhan, China could have caused the COVID-19 pandemic joins the anti-Asian sentiment they decry. It also hints at the possibility that the heroic efforts of Chinese doctors and others to identify the cause of the pandemic may have been thwarted by the Chinese Communist Party, which rules China. In fact, the Chinese government has set up roadblocks for a team of World Health Organization (WHO) investigators who attempted to find the cause of the pandemic earlier this year, as reported recently by the World Health Organization (WHO). New York Times.
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, member of Infection Control Today®The editorial board’s editorial advisory board says, “The claim that the virus was released on purpose is probably not valid since the epidemic’s epicenter was in a heavily populated part of China and the country did not have a viable vaccine ”.
After much haggling, the Chinese government agreed to allow WHO investigators to visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, one of three labs in that city that study coronaviruses. Although WHO investigators were able to visit the site, they were not allowed to conduct an investigation.
“The theories of accidental release from a laboratory and zoonotic fallout both remain viable”, Science letter states. “Knowing how COVID-19 came about is essential to inform global strategies to mitigate the risk of future epidemics.”
The authors of the letter note that this dovetails with what Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said about the WHO report released by the organization’s investigators. This report raises the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a zoonotic overflow from an intermediate host as probable to very likely. A lab leak? The report called this “highly unlikely”.
Ghebreyesus’ ambivalence about this conclusion seemed obvious.
“Although the team [of WHO investigators] concluded that a lab leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, possibly with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am prepared to deploy, ”Ghebreyesus said in a statement on March 30 .
“There seems to be little doubt that, like the rest of the world, the Wuhan lab was experimenting with coronaviruses,” Kavanagh says. “On May 11 of this year, Senator Rand Paul asked the White House about ‘gain-of-function’ research, research that is expected to make viruses more dangerous and more transmissible. This research was also mentioned in a Presidential fact sheet: Activity at the Trump administration’s Wuhan Institute of Virology which has apparently not yet been refuted by the Biden administration.
When the WHO report was released, Saskia v. Popescu, PHD, MPH, MA, CIC, another ICT® The EAB member agreed that more study needed to be done on the origin of COVID-19. She added, however, that “the truth is that the source of the pandemic does not change the poor response of so many countries, including the United States.”
the Science The letter explains in a little more detail why further research into the possibility of a laboratory leak should be investigated. The letter notes that the two theories – the lab leak and the zoonotic fallout – “have not received a balanced review. Only 4 of the 313 pages of the report and its appendices dealt with the possibility of a laboratory accident. “
They continue, “We need to take natural and laboratory fallout assumptions seriously until we have sufficient data. An appropriate investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, include broad expertise, subject to independent oversight and managed responsibly to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest. Public health agencies and research laboratories must open their files to the public. Investigators should document the veracity and provenance of the data from which analyzes are conducted and conclusions drawn, so that analyzes are reproducible by independent experts. “
Spearheading the writing of the letter was Jesse Bloom, who studies virus evolution at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University.
They told the New York Times that the message can be boiled down to this: wait and see. “Most of the talk you hear about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 at this point, I think, comes from the relatively small number of people who feel very sure of their opinions,” Bloom told the newspaper. He added that anyone who makes statements with a “high level of certainty is simply beyond what is possible with the available evidence.”
Kavanagh says that “this research topic in the Wuhan lab has been almost taboo in the mainstream media. However, the construction of artificial (pseudo) viruses is currently an exact science, with unique amino acid substitutions possible. As with vaccine production, you just need to be able to type in the genetic code you want and a vaccine or pseudo virus can be made. “
Kavanagh refers to what he describes as a “frightening article” by authors affiliated with the Chinese National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) and the WHO Collaborating Center for Standardization and Evaluation. Organic Products.
“This article describes a plethora of unique amino acid substitutions in the spike protein of 106 pseudo-viruses which resulted in ‘ten mutations such as N234Q, L452R, A475V and V483A were markedly resistant to certain mAbs” and that “the Dominant D614G on its own and combined with other mutations are more contagious. “
The D614G variant was the dominant variant in the United States in 2020.