Lab leak or animal transmission?

It’s very possible that SARS-CoV-2 originated in an animal and was transmitted to a human being, because that’s how so many virus diseases originated.

But we don’t as yet have any example of an animal in the wild carrying the disease, let alone a specific person getting the disease from an animal.

It’s possible that the virus spread as the result of a laboratory accident, because lab accidents have been known to happen.

But we don’t have any proof that a laboratory accident actually occurred, let alone a specific person being infected.

It’s argued that it is more than coincidence that the virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, a center for research in coronaviruses. I agree.

A center for the study of a virus in the lab would be a place where people would be most alert to detect the virus. But that’s not proof that the virus originated there. Diseases frequently are first discovered in places distant from where they originate.

It’s argued that the virus must be an artificial creation because it is so tailored to exploit human weaknesses. I don’t have the knowledge to make a scientific judgement one way or the other.

But it seems to me that this argument underestimates the malignant ingenuity of Mother Nature, operating through Darwinian random variation and natural selection.

None of this disproves the lab leak hypothesis, of course.

The lab leak hypothesis is more comforting than the animal transmission hypothesis because it is easier to fix human error that it is to cope with the forces of nature.

China haters tend to like the lab leak hypothesis. Trump haters tend to dislike it.

As for myself, I don’t have an opinion either way.

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One Response to “Lab leak or animal transmission?”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    I don’t think it matters as far as COVID goes. The bug is in the population and there’s no getting it out.

    It does make a difference if we have a facility that is intended to handle highly infectious diseases and is either not following protocols or following them badly. But since China will NEVER let us truly investigate, that question is moot. There was a state department report that excoriated the Wuhan facility long before this happened. There is evidence that there were epidemic conditions in China going back as far as November, based on satellite imagery of hospital parking lots. But again, since there is nothing we can do to reform China, it doesn’t matter.

    There is no point in wasting one’s powder on things that don’t matter. That turns it into a blame game when we have to focus on the present and the future.


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