On COVID Origins

Link: https://polimath.substack.com/p/on-covid-origins-cf5


From what I know, which is (if I’m being generous) 10% of the available information:

zoonotic origin (animal to human) is not off the table. This is a plausible theory. Also, we have no hard evidence supporting it. In fact, there is a frustrating lack of evidence supporting it.

lab escape is not off the table. This is a plausible theory with precedent. We have no hard evidence supporting it. But also, the CCP has closed the door on investigating this possibility so we are unlikely to learn any new information on this absent a defection from a Chinese scientist or researcher.

lab manipulation is unlikely, though “manipulation” is a really generous term. It could mean anything from “the virus mutated in the lab to become more dangerous” to “they used some intentional genetic manipulation technology to make it more dangerous”. Again… I find this unlikely and we absolutely zero evidence that this was done.

Author(s): PoliMath

Publication Date: 9 March 2021

Publication Site: Marginally Compelling at Substack

Covid-19 Virus Studies Yield New Clues on Pandemic’s Origin

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-virus-studies-yield-new-clues-on-pandemics-origin-11614594600


At least four recent studies have identified coronaviruses closely related to the pandemic strain in bats and pangolins in Southeast Asia and Japan, a sign that these pathogens are more widespread than previously known and that there was ample opportunity for the virus to evolve.

Another new study suggests that a change in a single amino acid in a key component of the virus enabled or at least helped the virus become infectious in humans. Amino acids are organic compounds that form proteins.

Public-health officials say it is critical to identify the origin of the pandemic to take steps to avert future outbreaks, though it may take years to do so. These latest pieces of research add to evidence that the virus, called SARS-CoV-2, likely originated in bats and then evolved naturally to infect humans, possibly through an intermediary animal.

Author(s): Betsy McKay

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal