A lot of people owe Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) an apology because a microbiologist said “in no uncertain terms that the novel coronavirus could have been unleashed due to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Cotton raised the possibility of China lying about the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus. He pointed out a lab near the first cases of the virus. He never once claimed China used it a weapon.

The MSM immediately jumped on Cotton instead of holding China’s feet to the fire. Reporters called him irresponsible, a conspiracy theorist, etc.

This Twitter thread contains just a few of the attacks:

Leslie covered the Chinese research paper that supports this theory:

So it may be that a sloppy scientist failed to follow proper decontamination protocol before exiting the laboratory. This is especially troubling as researchers who work in the highest level of biosafety containment must undergo vigorous training before using such facilities.

…The full report is here, including this conclusion:

In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.

Molecular biologist Richard H. Ebright told The Daily Caller News Foundation that no one could eliminate the possibility of coronavirus originating from nature or a lab:

A molecular biologist who has been quoted as a coronavirus expert by The Washington Post and MSNBC said Thursday in no uncertain terms that the novel coronavirus could have been unleashed due to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

China’s top virologist on bat-borne viruses, Shi Zhengli, has sworn on her life that the virus did not leak from her Wuhan lab, saying that its spread was “nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits.”

But Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday that there is a real possibility that the virus entered the human population due to a laboratory accident.

When asked specifically if he believes the virus could have leaked from Shi’s lab in Wuhan, Ebright said: “Yes.”

“A denial is not a refutation,” Ebright said. “Especially not a denial based on ‘nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits.’”

Ebright made this point in February as well. The Washington Post and MSNBC quoted him saying officials should exclude the theory of China using the virus as a bioweapon.

However, the outlets left out the part where he said “that the possibility that the virus entered the human population through a lab accident ‘cannot–and should not–be dismissed.'”

I guess the evidence has caught up to WaPo because, on Thursday, it published an article about the virus’s origins.

David Ignatius, the author, began his piece stating the coronavirus “produced a nasty propaganda battle between the United States and China.” I only see propaganda coming from China and our MSM, who seem intent of deflecting blame to President Donald Trump.

Ignatius included Ehbright’s full quote and acknowledged all the points Cotton made in his February remarks (emphasis mine):

There’s a competing theory — of an accidental lab release of bat coronavirus — that scientists have been puzzling about for weeks. Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told me in an email that “the first human infection could have occurred as a natural accident,” with the virus passing from bat to human, possibly through another animal. But Ebright cautioned that it “also could have occurred as a laboratory accident, with, for example, an accidental infection of a laboratory worker.” He noted that bat coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, “which provides only minimal protection,” compared with the top BSL-4.

Ebright described a December video from the Wuhan CDC that shows staffers “collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate [personal protective equipment] and unsafe operational practices.” Separately, I reviewed two Chinese articles, from 2017 and 2019, describing the heroics of Wuhan CDC researcher Tian Junhua, who while capturing bats in a cave “forgot to take protective measures” so that “bat urine dripped from the top of his head like raindrops.”

Then Ignatius ended his piece, saying that determining the cause of the outbreak “isn’t a blame game.”

Yes, it is a blame game and a worthy one. This coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the entire world. It has killed people, shut down economies, and messed up people’s lives.

The world should hold China accountable for its actions. Coronavirus is deadly, but what if they unleash a virus like the ones in Contagion and Outbreak? Yes, I know the one in Contagion came from a natural mixture of a bat and pig. But you cannot convince me that labs in China and elsewhere have a virus similar to it.

 

 
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