“I will tell you, more and more, we’re hearing the story [that the new coronavirus emerged from a Wuhan lab].”
— President Trump, in a news conference, April 15, 2020
President Trump isn’t the only one hearing this tale. The political world, Internet theorists, intelligence analysts and global public health officials are abuzz with a big question: Is it possible that the new coronavirus — which causes covid-19 — leaked from a lab?
For months, Chinese authorities have pointed to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan as the virus’s likely origin. A cluster of early cases had contact with the market. It sold a wide variety of wildlife that, officials hypothesized, was critical to the virus’s formation and spread. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which cause similar symptoms, were formed after a coronavirus from a bat transformed in another animal and then jumped to humans.
The logic seems straightforward. But a more complete analysis of early cases suggests that locating the origin of the virus may not be so simple. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that of the first 425 patients, only 45 percent had connections to the market. A separate Jan. 24 analysis published in the Lancet found that three of the first four cases — including the first known case — did not have market links.
Daniel R. Lucey, a pandemics expert at Georgetown University, put it simply: “In my opinion, the virus came into the market before it came out of the market…”
To read the entire article from The Washington Post, click https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/01/was-new-coronavirus-accidentally-released-wuhan-lab-its-doubtful