Finally, we ought to be able to put the last nail in the coffin of the “lab leak” baloney – for the origin of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. On Saturday, a team of scientists released a of extensive that point to a market in Wuhan, China, as the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. Analyzing data from a variety of sources, they concluded that the coronavirus was very likely present in live mammals sold in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in late 2019 and suggested that the virus twice spilled over into people working or shopping there. They said they found no support for an alternate theory that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Nor was it "created" in any Chinese lab as part of a bio-engineering, bioweapon initiative.
These findings are important, as are the earlier ones I cited in October last year, e.g.
to finally dispense with the lab leak crap which has been used as a vehicle to incite attacks on Asian Americans, to blame for the "China plague" that the plague named Trump has perpetuated. It also skewers former CDC director Robert Redfield's idiocy that the virus had to have been "manipulated" in a Chinese lab through a process called "serial passage." Let me also note this paranoid twaddle has also been weaponized - e.g. by the likes of Tucker Carlson and Rand Paul - to go after Dr. Anthony Fauci. Thereby inciting countless threats and screwball attacks on him, e.g. in social media and elsewhere. In the words of Univ. of Arizona virologist Michael Worobey - one of the study's co-authors:
"When you look at all of the evidence together, it’s an extraordinarily clear picture that the pandemic started at the Huanan market,”
The authors of the new study included researchers who previously published that had pointed toward a similar conclusion, but were based on much less detail. Their earlier analysis suggested that the first known case of the coronavirus was a vendor at the Huanan market.
In a separate line of research, scientists at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a new analysis of the genetic traces of coronaviruses collected at the market in January 2020. Previous studies have shown that the viruses sampled from early cases of Covid belonged to two main evolutionary branches. The Huanan market samples included both branches, the scientists reported in a study they online on Friday.
These latest findings, in concert with the earlier (Oct. 2021) research by Marc Eloit, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, should put the lab leak bunkum to rest once and for all. Recall the Eloit team captured hundreds of Laotian bats from caves and examined bat feces which turned out to harbor coronaviruses bearing molecular hooks - similar to that for SARS-Cov-2, e.g.
This work prompted the same Univ. of Arizona virologist Worobey to comment at the time.
“That really puts to bed any notion that this virus had to have been concocted or somehow manipulated in a lab to be so good at infecting humans,”
All of which confirms author Laurie Garrett's sober take, i.e. in her book The Coming Plague (p. 169);
"An individual microbe's world is limited only by the organism's mobility and its ability to tolerate various ranges of temperature, sunlight, oxygen, acidity or alkalinity. Wherever there may be an ideal soup for a microbe, it will eagerly take hold, immediately joining to the local microbial ecosystem of pushing and shoving struggle for survival.... In this fluid complexity human beings stomp about with swagger, elbowing their way without concern into one ecosphere after another. The human race seems equally complacent about blazing a path through a rainforest with bulldozers and arson - or using an antibiotic 'scorched earth' policy to chase unwanted microbes across the duodenum. "
The promotion of the lab leak theory, in my opinion, amounted to a form of scientific malpractice that enabled an array of bigots and right wing racists - including Dotard Trump- to mount an ongoing persecution of Asian Americans.
The misbegotten lab leak trope emerged in May, 2021 out of Matt Yglesias from his Substack blog - scolding the mainstream media for not being 'balanced' and 'objective' enough in regard to this twisted "theory". This is the same crackpot I took down in a Dec. 18, 2020 post for his wanton idiocy - in a New Yorker piece ('One Billion Americans') - insisting that the U.S. can hold 1 billion people. Yes, you read that correctly! As I noted at the time:
The point eluding this numbskull is that supporting a massive population isn't simply based on finding the space in which to squeeze it. You also need to consider the support systems, for growing enough food to feed that increased population - efficiently and consistently each day, as well as the water (clean water) to meet basic needs. Oh and not to mention an energy and transportation infrastructure.
That criticism still stands and Yglesias hadn't displayed any further insights (or higher I.Q.) by the time he spouted his spurious lab leak defense. He is a pseudo-scientific quack out to make a name for himself - and grab eyeballs - by being controversial and contrarian, nothing more. But sadly, by the time the lab leak scolding escaped from his brain it was already too late. The Amerikkan Reich wing (especially Tom Cotton and Tucker Carlson) was ecstatic it finally had something to discredit the actual virologists, attack the Chinese, as well as menace Dr. Anthony Fauci. Hopefully, the latest work is the end chapter to this sad and sorry Covid epic.