Blockbuster report delivers jaw-dropping revelations about potential origin of COVID-19

Blockbuster report delivers jaw-dropping revelations about potential origin of COVID-19
Coronaviruses with their distinctive crowns. CDC/Dr Fred Murphy

New reporting from journalist Josh Rogin adds more evidence to the theory that the novel coronavirus actually escaped containment from a lab in Wuhan, China, where it was being studied.

Politico has published a new excerpt from Rogin's upcoming book -- titled Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century -- in which the journalist cites United States State Department cables sent in 2018 warning that scientists were conducting risky coronavirus experiments in a Wuhan lab that was not equipped to contain the virus.

The scientists in the Wuhan lab had been exploring the origins of the SARS coronaviruses that ripped through Asian countries starting in 2002, and they had discovered new variants of coronaviruses in a bat cave that they had brought back to the lab with them.

"These scientists had discovered three new viruses that had a unique characteristic: they contained a 'spike protein' that was particularly good at grabbing on to a specific receptor in human lung cells known as an ACE2 receptor," writes Rogin. "That means the viruses were potentially very dangerous for humans."

After viewing the State Department cables, Rogin called around to other government sources he trusted and discovered that "a large swath of the government already believed the virus had escaped from the WIV lab, rather than having leaped from an animal to a human at the Wuhan seafood market or some other random natural setting, as the Chinese government had claimed."

Even more trouble, found Rogin, is that the United States government has evidence that the lab was conducting large-scale gain-of-function research where "the virulence or transmissibility of dangerous pathogens is deliberately increased" in order to help humans better predict the behavior of viruses in future outbreaks.

In the end, however, Rogin acknowledges that there is still no concrete evidence that the novel coronavirus came from the Wuhan lab -- although the circumstantial evidence surrounding the disease's initial outbreak is enough to warrant further investigation.

Read the whole report here.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.