Home/Rod Dreher/Was COVID19 Bioengineered By China?

Was COVID19 Bioengineered By China?

A staff member works in a laboratory in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 13, 2020. (Photo by Cheng Min/Xinhua via Getty Images)

A reader in the comments section urged me to join the Reddit COVID19 subreddit to keep up with the latest scientific information about the virus. I’m glad I did. This piece just appeared, analyzing the outbreak based on scientifically available information. It claims to be “the product of a collaboration between a retired professional scientist with 30 years of experience in genomic sequencing and analysis who helped design several ubiquitous bioinformatic software tools, and a former NSA counterterrorism analyst.” I’m throwing it out there and asking you readers who have a better sense of science to analyze it. The piece, which is long, concludes:

Given the above facts, either:

– A coronavirus spontaneously mutated and jumped to humans at a wet market or deep in some random bat cave which just so happened to be 20 miles from China’s only BSL-4 virology lab, a virus with an unusually slippery never-before-seen genome that’s evading zoological classification, and whose spike-protein region which allows it to enter host cells appears most like a bio-engineered commercial product, that somehow managed to infect its first three and roughly one-third of its initial victims despite them not being connected to this market, and then be so fined-tuned to humans that it’s gone on to create the single greatest public health crisis in Chinese history with approaching 100 million citizens locked-down or quarantined – also causing Mongolia to close its border with its largest trading partner for the first time in modern history.

– Or, Chinese scientists failed to follow correct sanitation protocols possibly while in a rush during their boisterous holiday season, something that had been anticipated since the opening of the BSL-4 lab and has happened at least four times previously, and accidentally released this bio-engineered Wuhan Strain – likely created by scientists researching immunotherapy regimes against bat coronaviruses, who’ve already demonstrated the ability to perform every step necessary to bio-engineer the Wuhan Strain 2019-nCov – into their population, and now the world. As would be expected, this virus appears to have been bio-engineered at the spike-protein genes which was already done at UNC to make an extraordinarily virulent coronavirus. Chinese efforts to stop the full story about what’s going on are because they want the scales to be even since they’re now facing a severe pandemic and depopulation event. No facts point against this conclusion.

Read it all. It’s pretty damned disturbing. What jumps out to me are 1) the connection between the former UNC scientist and the Wuhan lab, and 2) the fact that genetically, this particular coronavirus cannot (as of yet) be definitively linked to an animal species, and appears not to be explicable by natural evolution. What’s more, a white paper by Chinese scientists concluded that:

“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.”

To be clear: it does not at all seem likely that this virus was intentionally released. If this analysis of the available data is correct, it appears that careless Chinese scientists let a virus intentionally engineered to be especially destructive to get out of the lab.

One more thing from the report:

Early research found that 2019-nCoV targets the ACE2 receptor, which is found in East Asians at roughly five-times the rate of other global populations, indicating that the Wuhan Strain 2019-nCoV was likely developed as part of a gain-of-function defensive project possibly linked to immunotherapy or vaccinations – never meant to leave the lab, but meant to serve as a Red Team to fight back against, not as an offensive weapon since the virus is likely wired to be much more virulent among Asian populations. Further support for this is the fact that the Wuhan BSL-4 virology lab was already actively looking into the risks posed from bat coronavirusesand actively researching coronavirus treatments – by definition both of these projects would require live virulent strains of coronavirus.

This would indicate that the virus will not spread outside of East Asian populations at nearly the same rate. If this proves to be the case, then Chinese carelessness in the lab will have sickened and killed an untold number of their own people (and Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc.), and deeply damaged the Chinese economy. Because globalism has connected us all tightly to China, when China gets the coronavirus, we all get sick, if only economically. The good news (relatively speaking) is that if this thing can be contained before it mutates, the non-East Asian world may pretty much dodge the bullet. The bad news for the non-East Asian world is that nobody is free from the economic effects of a plague-related Chinese economic collapse.

Again: read the whole thing. 

UPDATE:The Harvard2TheBigHouse blogger has updated his post. He writes to me:

Just FYI, the version currently live on my site is a little bit different from the excerpts posted in your article. Additionally I’ve added a little bit more hard science, and some more context.
I imagine there might be a post about how no one is actually responding to the scientific points being made in the article but instead are just giving knee-jerk responses. [I admit that I made] a mistake on the ACE2 was receptor and [made] the correction. Transparency vs. superstition.

 

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

leave a comment

Latest Articles