New documents back theory that Covid outbreak started in Wuhan lab

For those of you who have followed me over the last 18 months, I have always believed that the source of covid-19 was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Here is another shred of possible “evidence” supporting that view. Wuhan scientists were studying viral samples of high-risk bat species living in Laos – the country where the closest relative to Covid-19 has been found, leaked documents show. 

Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were collecting viral samples from bats in Laos, emails show - Reuters/Thomas Peter

In September, researchers discovered a viral strain called Banal-52 in Laos, which shares 96.8 per cent of its genome with Sars-CoV-2 – boosting claims that the pandemic was caused by a natural spillover event, rather than a laboratory leak. However, it remained unclear how a bat-borne virus from Laos could have ended up sparking an outbreak in Wuhan, more than 1,000 miles away. Now, leaked emails between EcoHealth Alliance and US government funders show viral samples were being collected from bats in Laos and sent back to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for study. The emails, uncovered in a Freedom of Information Request by the US-based White Coat Waste Project, suggest that viral DNA from “bats and other high-risk species” were sent to Wuhan between June 2017 to May 2019.

Before Banal-52 was found, the closest relative to Covid-19 was discovered in cave bats in Yunnan, China, where EcoHealth Alliance had also been looking for viruses and sending samples back to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The genetic sequences collected from both Yunnan and Laos were kept in an online database at the Wuhan institute. However, that was removed in September 2019, leaving experts unsure of exactly what strains were studied at the lab. Advocates of the lab leak theory said that emails give “plausible” explanations for how Covid-19 could have emerged. Gilles Demaneuf, a researcher and member of the web pandemic origins group Drastic, wrote in a recent blog: “Now we have a very plausible direct route from Laos to Wuhan, a route with two options. “Number one, a Wuhan bat sampler infected on a field sampling trip. Number two, a research accident in Wuhan when manipulating a Laos Banal-like bat coronavirus”.

The team also planned to take sequences from naturally occurring coronaviruses and use them to create a brand new sequence that was an average of all the strains. Genetics experts have said that if Covid-19 had been produced in this way, it would explain why a close match has never been found in nature. click full source. So there we have it. Another theory but seems plausible to me. Time will tell.

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