10 thoughts on “The Lab Leak”

  1. The extreme proximity of their Level 4 containment facility with the market where the outbreak began makes me believe that the lab leak hypothesis should certainly be considered if not given the position of default explanation until shown otherwise. Look it up on Maps and then zoom out to all of China . From a probability standpoint, it’s impossible to ignore.

    1. Incompetence. A malicious release wouldn’t be done from the lab that developed the virus – they’d make some effort to disguise its origin.

      Also, a deliberate biowarfare attack would probably use a virus more deadly than Covid-19 proved to be.

        1. That part would be tactical malice. Strategic malice would be the initial release was nowhere near China.

          It was, so China seized an opportunity.

    2. My question on malice would also include whom. Lots of people certainly found ways to increase their power during the outbreak. Getting rich is just something that happens after gaining power. To be fair, these opportunist were probably following the Rahm Emanuel doctrine of not letting a crisis go to waste.

  2. The problem is that the bat coronavirus studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), were being conducted not at BSL-4 but BSL-2/3.

    Prior to the outbreak, there appears to have been a plan in place to move the studies to rhesus monkeys at BSL-4, a bio-safety level unique and novel to WIV by Dr. Shi’s own admission. From the source linked to in the Wade paper around para. 67:


    “Much of Dr. Shi’s work on gain-of-function in coronaviruses was performed at the BSL2 safety level as is stated in her publications and other documents. She said in an interview with Science magazine that “The coronavirus research in our laboratory is conducted in BSL-2 or BSL-3 laboratories.”

    Here is the link referenced in the Wade paper (scroll to the end to see the relevant comments):

    I found a cogent and profoundly relevant statement by Dr. Ralph Ebright at the end of a podcast of lefty pod-caster here:


    It has become clear even to the leftists that perhaps what was going on largely unsupervised a WIV was probably not the best of all things. Dr. Ebright however is going full government clamp-down on scientists who cannot regulate themselves. I do also fear where this leads.

    Backgrounder and an interview of Dr. Ralph Ebright who has weighed in on this topic:


    We are also seeing a lot of semantic games being played by shifting definitions of what the term ‘gain-of-function’ means. It appears it has no clear cut definition even in the scientific world. Dr. Shi adamantly claims the work she was doing was not gain-of-function. But the work seems to me could be interpreted either way. The raging controversy is over whether or not recombinant DNA and the subsequent reinfection of chimeric animals such as humanized mice, whether these techniques are either a good way to get ahead of a potential deadly pathogenic virus as a necessary precursor to generating a vaccine or whether such research is too risky, in which case the science is restrained until an natural outbreak occurs and then we have to do all the groundwork of sequencing and discovery even before any attempt at a vaccine can happen. No one it appears denies having the early genetic sequencing of the spike protein to SARS-CoV2 put us on a path to even being able to do “Warp Speed” last year. Without it, it would have taken possibly months of additional laboratory analysis. On the other hand, this virus has claimed over 3.5 million lives worldwide and counting. How this plays out over the coming months and years is going to be interesting to watch. Our current anti-science political climate is of reason for concern.

    I fear Dr. Ebright is playing with fire almost as much as was Dr. Shi. In a rational world one would hope that risk/benefit assessment panels would be a good thing. In a rational world.

  3. “I agree, and would add one point about why this matters so much. “Our wet market was low quality and poorly governed” is a story consistent with the Chinese elites not being entirely at fault. Wet markets, after all, are a kind of atavism, and China knows the country is going to evolve away from them over time.”

    It would be nice to see a real journalist track down and trace the wet market narrative.

    Does China really know they will evolve away from wet markets? Not having wet markets is just an ideological difference, not genetic. Ideological changes can go either way and aren’t evolution.

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