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Additional evidence the coronavirus could have been accidentally released by a Chinese lab

Added 04-03-20 04:50:03pm EST - “"at coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, 'which provides only minimal protection'..."” - Hotair.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Hotair.com: “Additional evidence the coronavirus could have been accidentally released by a Chinese lab”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Earlier this week Tucker Carlson did a segment on the origin of the coronavirus. Carlson, who has been pretty aggressive in his coverage of the virus, pointed out a Chinese research paper (since pulled by the author) which claimed the virus could not have arisen at the Wuhan wet market because the horseshoe bats where the virus arose were not for sale at the market. In fact, the bats are not naturally found anywhere within 900 miles of the market. However, bats were being studied for viruses they carried in two labs including one just a few hundred meters from the market.

Initially, discussion of this topic was treated as a conspiracy theory because some people suggested, absent any evidence, that the virus might be an escaped bio-weapon. As I wrote here, experts strongly dispute that possibility. However the possibility of an accidental release of the virus from a lab is starting to get a bit more attention.

Yesterday the Washington Post published a column by David Ignatius titled “How did covid-19 begin? Its initial origin story is shaky.” Ignatius reviews much of the same material that Carlson had mentioned and concludes that an accidental release of the virus is a genuine possibility:

Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told me in an email that “the first human infection could have occurred as a natural accident,” with the virus passing from bat to human, possibly through another animal. But Ebright cautioned that it “also could have occurred as a laboratory accident, with, for example, an accidental infection of a laboratory worker.” He noted that bat coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, “which provides only minimal protection,” compared with the top BSL-4.

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