Recent reports of U.S. media confronted the coronavirus lab-leak claim with quotes of experts, saying that the lab-leak allegation lacked supportive facts or scientific evidence.
In an article published by the Los Angeles Times last week, the newspaper’s columnist wrote, “There is no evidence not a smidgen for the claim that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in China or anywhere else.
“Or that the China lab ever had the virus in its inventory.
“There’s even less for the wildest version of the claim, which is that the virus was deliberately engineered.
“There never has been, and there isn’t now,” said the column.
It said the lab-leak origin claim for COVID-19 was in the news, but it was still fact-free.
Several virologists interviewed by the columnist said they were highly skeptical of the lab-leak hypothesis.
“Precedence, data, and other evidence strongly favour natural emergence as a highly likely scientific theory for the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, while the lab leak remains a speculative, incomplete hypothesis with no credible evidence,” Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, said.
Anderson is the lead author of a seminal paper on COVID-19’s origins published on Nature magazine as reported in the article.
Robert Garry of Tulane Medical School, who was coauthor of the Nature paper, said during a recent webcast, “Our conclusion that it didn’t leak from the lab is even stronger today than it was when we wrote the paper.”
Up to 18 experts have signed a letter in Science to emphasize that they are not endorsing the lab-leak theory.
“The genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2 really points to a natural-origin event from wildlife,” an signatory of the letter, Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, was quoted in the article as saying. (Xinhua/NAN)