Every since news of the Wuhan Coronavirus appeared outside of China, there has been speculation that it is a bio-engineered organism that escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Much has been written on the topic, and I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the likelihood of such stories being true. In recent days there seems to have been a consensus that the disease most likely escaped from the lab in Wuhan, but had not been genetically modified.
The following Italian video from 2015 discusses a coronavirus that was genetically altered in a Chinese laboratory. Numerous experts acknowledge the truth of the story, but say that COVID-19 is not that particular virus, nor is it a descendant.
The following article from Il Giornale (also translated by FouseSquawk) examines the issues posed by the video:
Virus, the case of the RAI video of 2015: Created in a Chinese laboratory?
The program aired in 2015 on TGR on a “supervirus” created in a Chinese lab. Is it the Corona virus? Salvini announces an inquiry
by Claudio Cartaldo
March 25, 2020
Some talk of a “coincidence”, some of a big “conspiracy”. Many, on the other hand, are certain that it is proof that the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Beijing lab (Watch video here).
A group of Chinese researchers, explained Daniele Cerrato in the release of the program, grafted a protein taken from bats onto the SARS virus, the acute pneumonia contracted from mice. And from that came a supervirus that could infect humans. Clearly, it remains closed in a lab. It is only for purposes of research. But is it worth it to run the risk of creating a threat so big, just to be able to examine it? In his program, Maurizio Menicucci spoke of this experiment in which the scientists succeeded in grafting a superficial protein of a coronavirus found in bats, onto a virus that causes SARS (the acute pneumonia) in mice. The researchers thought that the hybrid (a chimera virus) was able to infect humans, a hypothesis then confirmed by the lab results. Not only that. The molecule ShCo-14, explained the journalist, “allows the corona virus to contaminate humans “directly from bats without passing through an intermediate species like the mouse.”
The question that many now are asking is: Is this SARS-CoV2? Is it that virus, created in a lab by scientists, and which has brought China to its knees, and now the whole world? The suggestion that had already circulated in recent days is, for now, not confirmed by official sources. But yet, the TGR Leonardo video now seems to fit COVID-19. The ingredients are all there: The bats, SARS, acute pneumonia, the virus that directly attacks humans and infects them. The coincidences seem to be many, so many that even Matteo Salvini is asking for clarity and is announcing a parliamentary inquiry directed at [PM Giuseppe] Conte.
In reality, the experiments on the “chimera virus” have already been dealt with by the Italian press. Il Fatto, for example, has brought back to light an article on the argument, also in 2015, published by the international magazine Nature Medicine (Read here). It is the same article to which the RAI program referred five years ago. According to noted debunker David Puene, “none of the experts who have studied the genome of the SARS-CoV2 have identified it with the chimerical virus utilized in 2015.” Giuseppe Ippolito, scientific director of Spallanzani [Institute] thinks the same way. “It’s always the same story, full of fantasy, which from time to time requires us to issue denials,” he told Corriere. In addition, a group of British researchers had to speak out recently in supporting the position of the English government. For Franco Locatelli, the president of the Superior Health Council, finally, “there is no evidence that this has been the mechanism at the base of which SARS-CoV2 has been generated. It is bio-terrorism fantasy. All international groups share the sequence of strains isolated from the new coronavirus, and such a scenario has never been hypothesized.”
The viral dissemination of the video on social media has also, in the end, forced RAI to take an official position. “The program of 16 November 2015, which aired under the title “Leonardo, of TGR” was taken from a publication from the magazine Nature,” says the regional director of RAI, Alessandro Casarin. “Just three days ago, the same magazine declared that the virus which the program discussed, created in a lab, has no relation with the natural virus COVID-19.” Also interviewed by Adnkronos, the moderator Cerrato suggested “not making connections with Spy Story”. The program, he says, is the result of “a research that we found four years ago through international scientific agencies. And then a portion of the research was shown.” Now to understand whether there is a link between that virus and the pandemic that is exploding now, we need to turn to the experts, the geneticists. Two days ago, a systematic study of the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 came out (Anderson KG et al, Nature Magazine 2020) which shows without a shadow of a doubt that the virus has a natural and zoological (from animals, particularly bats and pangolins ) origin, for which the story of the virus “created” in a lab is confirmed to be a colossal hoax. Be careful, therefore, not to make connections with Spy Story. Let the scientists be the ones who have the final say.
Here’s another take on the subject (hat tip Fjordman) from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab
Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, a biosecurity expert who has been speaking out on lab safety since the early 2000s, does agree with the Nature Medicine authors’ argument that the new coronavirus wasn’t purposefully manipulated by humans, calling their arguments on this score strong. Ebright helped The Washington Post debunk a claim that the COVID-19 outbreak can somehow be tied to bioweapons activity, a conspiracy theory that’s been promoted or endorsed by the likes of US Sen. Tom Cotton, Iran’s supreme leader, a high-ranking Chinese government official, and others.
But Ebright thinks that it is possible the COVID-19 pandemic started as an accidental release from a laboratory such as one of the two in Wuhan that are known to have been studying bat coronaviruses.
|00:13||Chinese scientists create a super pulmonary virus from bats and mice.|
|00:17||It was only for purposes of study, but there are so many protests.|
|00:20||Is it worth the risk?|
|00:24||It is an experiment, of course, but it worries many scientists. A group of Chinese researchers|
|00:28||grafted a protein taken from bats|
|00:33||onto the SARS virus, the acute pneumonia transmitted by mice.|
|00:39||and out comes a super virus that could infect humans. It stayed closed inside a lab, of course.|
|00:43||It is used only for study purposes, but is it worth running the risk|
|00:49||of creating a threat so great just to be able to examine it? Maurizio Menicucci.|
|00:57||The debate about the risks of research is as old as science itself.|
|01:00||At the heart is the myth of Icarus, who fell after flying too close to the sun|
|01:03||with wax wings made by his father, Daedalus.|
|01:06||That brings up an experiment conducted in China, where a group of researchers succeeded|
|01:10||in developing a chimera, an organism modified by grafting the superficial protein|
|01:15||of a corona virus found in bats, the rather common|
|01:19||horseshoe species, onto the virus that causes SARS,|
|01:23||the acute pneumonia, albeit in a non-fatal form in mice.|
|01:27||It was suspected that the protein could render the hybrid capable of infecting humans,|
|01:32||and the experiment confirmed it. It is precisely this molecule called SHC O 14|
|01:37||which permits the corona virus to attach itself to our respiratory cells, unleashing the syndrome.|
|01:43||According to the researchers, moreover, the organism from the original, and even more so|
|01:47||the engineered one, could contaminate humans directly via bats|
|01:51||without passing through an intermediary species such as a mouse.|
|01:54||And indeed this eventuality has raised a lot a lot of controversy.|
|01:58||Just one year ago the US government suspended funding|
|02:02||of research focusing on the most contagious viruses.|
|02:05||But the moratorium didn’t stop the work of the Chinese on SARS,|
|02:09||which was already at an advanced phase and not considered that dangerous.|
|02:13||According to a part of the scientific world, in fact, it is not.|
|02:16||The probability that the virus would pass to our species would be irrelevant|
|02:20||in comparison with the benefits, a thinking that many other experts reject.|
|02:24||First because the relationship between risk and benefit is difficult to evaluate.|
|02:28||And then due to the present-day species, it is more prudent not to|
|02:32||put into circulation organisms that could escape or be removed from the control of the labs.