Coronavirus lab escape theory advances

The Washington Times

For weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak began, mainstream media outlets, reflecting propaganda themes voiced by the Chinese government, have sought to label public discussion about a laboratory origin of the coronavirus as an unfounded conspiracy theory. China’s government and many scientists insist that the virus resulted from a naturally occurring mutation from bats to humans, with a possible wild animal host as an intermediary carrier. Further, critics of the lab escape theory deceptively have conflated the idea that China bioengineered the virus as a weapon together with the possible inadvertent escape of a bat coronavirus. As reported by The Washington Times, China has discovered some 2,000 viruses, including deadly bat coronaviruses, in the past 12 years, carrying out the research at a less secure laboratory in Wuhan some 3 miles from the suspected center of the outbreak, the Huanan Seafood Market, which traffics in wild animals. That laboratory and a key researcher, Tian Junhua, have been working on bat coronaviruses in a search for vaccines to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that first broke out in 2003.

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