Instead of acknowledging that WIV researchers are scientists, not wizards, Viral points to more facts that seem vaguely murky. He dedicates pages to discussing, for example, a database listing animal samples and viral sequences developed by WIV that allegedly went offline on September 12, 2019.
As with much of the talk about lab leaks, the allegations are not clearly specified. The hint seems to be that the database went offline because the Wuhan Institute of Virology was hiding a leak, but the timing is pointless. If the coronavirus was released in the middle of Wuhan on, or possibly before September 12, why notDo doctors notice that admissions for atypical pneumonia increase until the end of December? Scattered hospitalizations from what we now know to be Covid-19 started around December 10, and the cases no doubt began to rise before that, but the idea that such a contagious virus might have been circulating under the radar in Wuhan for at least two months is amazing. Additionally, the September leak idea contradicts another popular lab leak scenario, which also received a sympathetic audience in the book, which focuses on three coronavirus lab workers at WIV who went to the hospital with symptoms similar to those. of the flu in November. This rumor is frequently presented as evidence that the first known human cases of Covid-19 were directly linked to the laboratory, even though these workers could have just as easily gotten the flu, and the WIV denies that any employee tested positive. by Covid-19. antibodies.
Chan and Ridley are fussy about any suggestion that they are peddling conspiracy theories. “As if an accident could be a conspiracy, ”they scoff. But all the scenarios seem to matter only if they convince us that there is a major cover-up underway – whether the WIV has been deliberately hiding the link between the Tongguan mine shaft and RaTG13. since 2016, for example, that would certainly be a conspiracy. If the database were removed to hide something, that would also be a conspiracy. If the WIV lies about the blood tests that showed none of its employees had Covid-19 in November 2019, or if the Chinese government has already performed all the tests that would establish the laboratory origin of Covid-19, but it is selectively To disclose only the evidence supporting a natural origin, as the book hints, all of the above would require the collusion of large numbers of people.
When you raise concrete objections to a theory, lab leakers come up with a slightly different version. If Covid-19 could not be created from RaTG13, what if it was made from some other virus like RaTG13? Don’t have a social or geographic link to the Wuhan Institute? Well, maybe it was some other lab that we don’t know about. No obvious signs of genetic modification? Suppose they used an invisible technique? Neither of these scenarios is prima facie impossible, and therefore, once posed, none can be immediately ruled out. But none of them are backed by any evidence. And if you don’t like them, they have others. They’re just asking questions here.