Summary of Evidence

Andrew Tuntable
Twitter: @atuntable

Below is a summary, the evidence. More details about each point and links to research papers can be found in [Detailed Evidence].

  1. The bat coronavirus outbreak occurred in Wuhan, home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the world’s leading bat coronaviruses laboratory.  (Not proof, but certainly of interest.)
  2. Wuhan is 1500 km from the relevant bats. 
  3. Lab leaks are not uncommon and have happened in many laboratories around the world.
  4. The virus was found in the Wuhan “wet” fish markets. However, all environmental samples were human, no animal samples were positive. Neither bats nor pangolins were traded in the Wuhan wet markets.  The markets appear to be super spreader, not a source.
  5. No intermediate animal source has been found despite and extensive search. The sources for SARS-1 (civets) and MERS (camels) were found within a few months.
  6. The virus arose suddenly, fully functional without taking time to adapt to humans.  This is unlike SARS-1 and MERS.
  7. The virus contains a novel furin cleavage site that is not present in other closely related coronaviruses. Further, it is encoded with a human-like sequence. This is what makes the virus so infectious.
  8. The WIV and the Eco Health Alliance proudly published their earlier results on genetically engineering chimeras based on coronaviruses.  They have also submitted grant proposals (DEFUSE) to add furin cleavage sites to coronaviruses.
  9. The virus contains very unusual evenly spaced “restriction sites” that a researcher might add to a virus to make it easier to study. It also contains several fragments that are identical to HIV.
  10. It was discovered that in 2013 six bat guano miners became ill with a SARS-like virus, samples of which were sent to the WIV.  This could have been the precursor to SARS-COV-2.  The WIV had said the miners had a fungal infection. 
  11. The WIV conducted coronavirus research at biosecurity levels 2 and 3, not high security BSL-4.  US government and Chinese reports had raised concerns about their biosecurity practices in 2017.
  12. There is some evidence that workers at the WIV became ill in late 2019.
  13. More importantly, the Chinese government has removed data and has angrily thwarted any proper investigation.  In February 2020 they issued a directive forbidding Chinese academics from publishing about the virus. They refuse to disclose whether the WIV was studying a SARS-COV-2 like virus. 
  14. There does not appear to have been any attempt to trace the contacts of the earliest cases by looking for long lived antibodies.
  15. Simply the fact that it is the most infectious coronavirus in 100 years, nothing as potent has arisen naturally in that period.
  16. There are no credible rebuttals.

The weight of this evidence shows that the virus escaped from the WIV beyond reasonable doubt.

This is important because this technology has become much more accessible to laboratories around the world, often with minimal oversight.  Advances in technology could enable future genetically engineered viruses to be far more infectious and virulent than SARS-COV-2. For example, a recent (2022) experiment by Boston University created a chimera (mixture) of SARS-2 viruses that was much more virulent than the natural strains.

Dangerous research.

This is what must not be allowed to happen.  Students from existing laboratories setting up their own laboratories around the world and conducting dangerous Gain of Function research with inadequate safety precautions.

The next engineered virus could be even more infectious, have a longer incubation period, a higher mortality rate and, like HIV, attack the immune system.  It could be far more dangerous than SARS-COV-2.

(Permission to use this cartoon is granted with attribution.)