Origins of COVID: The Last Chance

The Flag Staff Contributor
Origins of COVID: The Last Chance
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Origins of COVID: The WHO has formed an advisory group to investigate the origins of COVID, renewing suspicions that China knows more than it’s letting on. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter

Top Story: Origins of COVID

This week, the World Health Organization formed a new 26-member scientific advisory group to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and other pathogens. Another aim of the panel is to figure out how to better prepare for future outbreaks. In regards to where the current virus originated, a WHO report from March delivered no clear verdict. This was partly due to China’s refusal to cooperate. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said this may be the “last chance to understand the origins of this virus.” Here’s what both sides are saying. 

On The Right

Right-leaning commentators are extremely suspicious of China and believe Beijing is hiding crucial information. Some think we already have enough information to determine that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a laboratory.

“Science Closes In on COVID’s Origins” Richard Muller and Steven Quay, The Wall Street Journal Opinion: “Based on experience with SARS-1 in 2003 and MERS in 2012, we know that many people are infected by a host animal long before a coronavirus mutates to the point where it can jump from human to human. … If the novel coronavirus were engineered by scientists there would be no instances of community infection until it escaped from the laboratory. A [2019] World Health Organization investigation found zero pre-pandemic infections. This is powerful evidence favoring the lab-leak theory. … [Additionally,] scientists searched for a host in early 2020, testing more than 80,000 animals … Not a single animal infected with SARS-CoV-2 was found. This finding strongly favors the lab-leak theory. We can only wonder if the results would have been different if the animals tested had included the humanized mice kept at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

“China’s refusal to work with outside investigators is fresh proof of its guilt in COVID’s origins” Editorial Board, New York Post: “China is blocking yet another World Health Organization investigation into COVID-19’s origins, more evidence that Beijing played some role in the origins of a pandemic that’s killed 4.5 million. … WHO scientists have sought access to bat caves and wildlife areas in China’s Enshi prefecture in Hubei province in search of samples that could identify animals that served as intermediate hosts for the virus to spread from bats to humans. This would be evidence for the ‘evolved naturally’ hypothesis, which would absolve China of most blame for the plague. Beijing clearly fears (or knows?) that the WHO researchers would find nothing, and thus bolster the ‘lab leak’ theory. … Beijing’s behavior suggests it now knows the bug actually leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after being engineered to infect humans.”

“The world deserves to know the truth about COVID’s origins” Rep. Rob Wittman, Rep. Elise Stefanik, Fox News: “Right now, it is nearly impossible to have all the facts because the Chinese Communist Party has blocked critical information and failed to cooperate with the global community. It leaves all of us asking: ‘What is China hiding?’ … That is why we recently introduced ‘The World Deserves to Know Act.’ Our bill would sanction key communist party officials in China who suppressed the truth, including the silencing and jailing of citizen journalists. In the meantime, our bill will prohibit American taxpayer dollars from being sent to China for potentially dangerous research. … It is time for President Biden to move past empty threats and commit to decisive action necessary to uncover the pandemic’s origins. … It’s essential to hold China accountable if COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Lab.”

On The Left

Left-leaning outlets also believe China should be more transparent. A pair of commentators below take direct aim at The Wall Street Journal article above. They don’t discount the lab-leak theory, but just believe it loses credibility with posts like the ones from Richard Muller and Steven Quay.

“To prevent the next pandemic, we must find the source of COVID-19. China’s stonewalling is unacceptable.”Editorial Board, The Washington Post: “We live in a sea of viruses. Why did this particular one break out in this huge Chinese metropolis, and not elsewhere? Where did the virus acquire the furin cleavage site [which] enhances the ability of the attacking virus to enter human lung cells and produce disease? … No other viruses in the sarbecovirus subgenus, to which its closest relatives belong, have this feature … Was there a laboratory accident or leak of some kind? China has denied it. … Understanding the origins of this pandemic could help prevent the next one. But without a thorough investigation, these questions will not be answered. … No investigation will succeed as long as China’s doors remain shut. The silence is deafening.”

“When will the Wall Street Journal stop publishing lab-leak propaganda?” Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times: “The [Wall Street Journal] opinion section has reveled in China-bashing over the virus … [Recently,] it hit a low note, with an op-ed by [Richard Muller and Steven Quay] declaring that the lab-leak hypothesis has been all but ‘confirmed.’ … It’s important to recognize no one has found any evidence for a lab leak, whatsoever. … Muller and Quay sliced and diced research, some of which has been sitting around on the shelf for more than a year, and reinterpreted to fit their own predilections. … The Wall Street Journal opinion section has a desire to portray China as a sinister entity … There are creditable scientists who regard a lab leak as a plausible scenario for the origin of COVID-19 in humans. Muller and Quay haven’t helped their case.”

“Coronavirus Lab Leak Theory Needs to Be Taken Seriously” Faye Flam, Bloomberg Opinion: “With so many conspiracy theorists embracing the view that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory, it’s tempting to dismiss the idea. But it’s important to keep an open mind — because the possibility of a lab leak still exists, and needs to be investigated. … The issue has been politicized … The lab leak side, in particular, has been associated with sensationalized media attention, including a Wall Street Journal op-ed … written by Richard Muller and Stephen Quay. … But a flawed argument for the lab leak idea can’t be taken as evidence against it. … The Wuhan Institute of Virology hasn’t done enough to show it’s been operating safely, and that’s a reasonable argument in favor of continued probing into the possible lab origin of the virus. It’s important to focus on that, and not on the uninformed speculation and conspiracy theories.”

Flag This: Origins of COVID

According to the most recent polling from Morning Consult, “The public’s perception of the virus’ origins remains highly polarized, with Republicans much more confident about the lab leak theory (70 percent) than Democrats (32 percent), who were more likely to back the natural spillover hypothesis, at 38 percent,” Gaby Galvin reports. On an international scale, adults in other countries are also skeptical. “The polling indicates that in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Japan, about half of adults think the coronavirus began spreading after an accident in a Chinese lab — an idea that was once considered a fringe conspiracy theory but is now getting a closer look.” This matters because, in a somewhat-related survey from the Pew Research Center, most advanced economies continue to see China in an unfavorable light.

Flag Poll: Origins of COVID

Do you believe the virus moved naturally from animals to humans, or do you think it spilled out from a Chinese virology lab? Comment below to share your thoughts.

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1 month ago

There is no doubt in my mind that this was an intentional lab leak. If you look at the relationship between President Trump and China, he was the only president who actually took forceful action against their country, mostly covering unfair trade practices. They did not like President Trump and the one way they thought maybe they could get rid of him was through this virus. It worked for China along with Democrats and some RINOs who have such hatred for a president who has accomplished more in four years for the good of our country, than any other President who has served for four years. Hopefully, President Trump will be able to serve 4 more years and get this country back on-track.

1 month ago

I think it was an unintentional leak because of how I read the emails that transpired between all of those invested in that lab and Fauci. I don’t believe China purposely did this against Trump since Trump’s administration allowed the GOF to continue after Obama shut it down. It’s telling also that the Chinese already were developing the vaccine only a short time before the virus spread. Of course one could say that it spread from a bat — a humanized bat from the lab — so those espousing it was spread from bats… okay maybe.. but c’mon quit twisting the facts to people who don’t realize that. GOF is not only something we and China do but other countries and those participating it are no longer humans but monsters. And as far as your news snippets – what else would you expect from Los Angeles where the big money is coming in from working with China? Follow the money – so no real investigation will ever be done. This “conspiracy theory” lie is getting old for anything someone doesn’t like and is irritating and only serves to divide people. Finally, the link on the email to this section fails to a non-page (404 error).