09 January 2021

The coronavirus "lab leak" hypothesis

You've heard the rumors, the chit-chat, the idle speculation - that the current coronavirus pandemic is the result of a "leak" of a wild virus from a research lab in Wuhan, that it is an intentional form of biological warfare, that the virus was synthesized to be used as a weapon...

By a wide margin the best reporting I have so far encountered on this subject is a longread (very long read) at New York Magazine.  I'll break from my usual practice of excerpting the best bits to embed here, because snippets may confer wrong information.  The article does not provide a definitive answer to the question, but there is a lot of relevant information.

Related:  Yesterday I listened to a very interesting podcast of This American Life.  "The Other Extinguishers" is a 21-minute segment interviewing scientists who developed a key element in the Moderna vaccine years before COVID-19 emerged.  They were inducing cells to produce the "spikes" of the SARS-2 virus as an immunizing agent.  It's worth a listen, if only to realize that without this fortuitous happenstance, it might have been years before an effective vaccine to COVID-19 could have been produced.

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