Unusual features of novel coronavirus suggest sophisticated lab modification rather than natural evolution: Report
A recent report has claimed that the coronavirus pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus and the natural origin theory “lacks substantial support”.
The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China), the report prepared by Yan, Li-Meng, Kang, Shu, Guan, Jie, and Hu, Shanchang said.
As a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 differs significantly from other respiratory and/or zoonotic viruses: it attacks multiple organs; it is capable of undergoing a long period of asymptomatic infection; it is highly transmissible and significantly lethal in high-risk populations; it is well-adapted to humans since the very start of its emergence.
“The natural origin theory, although widely accepted, lacks substantial support. The alternative theory that the virus may have come from a research laboratory is, however, strictly censored on peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nonetheless, SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus,” the report stated.
The Yan report further discusses the genomic, structural, medical, and literature evidence, which, when considered together, strongly contradicts the natural origin theory.
“The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone. Building upon the evidence, we further postulate a synthetic route for SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that the laboratory-creation of this coronavirus is convenient and can be accomplished in approximately six months,” the report said.
The report also argues for a critical look into certain recently published data, which, albeit problematic, was used to support and claim a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2.
“The existing scientific publications supporting a natural origin theory rely heavily on a single piece of evidence – a previously discovered bat coronavirus named RaTG13, which shares a 96% nucleotide sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2. However, the existence of RaTG13 in nature and the truthfulness of its reported sequence are being widely questioned. It is noteworthy that scientific journals have clearly censored any dissenting opinions that suggest a non-natural origin of SARS-CoV-2. Because of this censorship, articles questioning either the natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 or the actual existence of RaTG13, although of high quality scientifically, can only exist as preprints or other non-peer-reviewed articles published on various online platforms,” the report read.
It further said: “Analyses of these reports have repeatedly pointed to severe problems and a probable fraud associated with the reporting of RaTG13. Therefore, the theory that fabricated scientific data has been published to mislead the world’s efforts in tracing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has become substantially convincing and is interlocked with the notion that SARS-CoV-2 is of a non-natural origin”.
The report called for the need of an independent investigation into the relevant research laboratories. “From a public health perspective, these actions are necessary as knowledge of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and of how the virus entered the human population are of pivotal importance in the fundamental control of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in preventing similar, future pandemics,” it said.