As a person who has studied the history of pandemics and lab leaks, imagine my surprise when authorities in China, the U.S. and the UK, stated categorically the virus was obviously zoonotic and we were conspiracy theorists if we proposed the opposite. I had to conclude that they were misguided or purposely lying.

Two myths have hindered investigations into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: one, that viruses seldom escape from laboratories, and two, that most pandemics are zoonotic, caused by a natural spillover of a virus from animals to humans.

Promoters of the first myth include the World Health Organization (WHO).

At a press conference in Wuhan, China, in February 2021, Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the WHO inspection team tasked with looking into the origins of the virus, said it was “extremely unlikely” that it had leaked from a lab and as a result the lab escape hypothesis would no longer form part of the WHO’s continuing investigations.

Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, has promoted both myths. As long ago as 2012, Daszak co-authored a paper in The Lancet claiming that “Most pandemics — e.g., HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, pandemic influenza — originate in animals.”

Since the start of the pandemic, he has claimed that “lab accidents are extremely rare,” and that they “have never led to large scale [disease] outbreaks.” He also said that suggestions that SARS-CoV-2 might have come out of a lab are “preposterous,” “baseless,” “crackpot,” “conspiracy theories” and “pure baloney.”

Read the full article at The Defender