At least a strange statement has spread like wildfire in recent weeks. It was related to a paper claiming that COVID-19 virus is made in a laboratory in Wuhan.
The idea of a country releasing a genetically modified biological weapon to create global havoc is a serious statement, something you only see in SF movies. Following the paper, many experts claim that this scenario is very unlikely.
In a interview given to the Daily Beast, virologist Angela Rasmussen said the paper is unconvincing and has basic errors. “Basically, everything is circumstantial, and some of the data is completely fictitious,” Rasmussen said.
Six experts in biology and infectious diseases said in interviews with Newsweek, that the paper appeared to have erroneous data and even made basic errors to support its claims. “This research cannot receive any credibility in its current form,” said Andrew Preston, a microbiologist at the University of Bath.
Researcher Carl Bergstrom called research “bizarre and unfounded”
Thus, the experts who spoke with the Daily Beast and Newsweek said that the research seems to distort the basic facts about genetics.
For example, McMaster University virologist Arinjay Banerjee told Newsweek that the paper indicates “restriction sites” in the coronavirus’s genetic code as evidence of genetic manipulation. But “all DNA sequences in nature have such restriction sites,” he said, adding that “it is not surprising that the SARS-CoV-2 genome also has restriction sites.”
“The report is not based on an objective interpretation of the SARS-CoV2 genome,” Preston told Newsweek. The report does not seem to start with an open hypothesis about the origin of SARS-CoV2 “, he adds.
It is also worth noting that other researchers have examined whether the genetic code of COVID could have been manipulated in any way and they found no evidence that it would have existed.
Another black ball for the credibility of the investigation, Daily Beast also reported that it was supported by two organizations related to Steve Bannon, a former White House aide who was arrested and accused of fraud last month for what authorities say was the misuse of donated funds.
Interestingly, Bannon was arrested on a yacht owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui in exile – which, according to the Daily Beast, also funded this dubious research.