COVID-19 Origin: Was It an Accidental Lab Leak of a Genetically Engineered Virus?

Focus on 'genetically engineered,' not on 'accidental leak'
November 7, 2021 Updated: November 8, 2021

Commentary

The recently declassified U.S. intelligence community report on the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 muddies the water.

There had been months of open-source reporting from scientists around the world speculating that the likely origins of the virus was the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), not the so-called zoonotic disease theory (for example, a naturally-occurring virus jumped from an animal—supposedly a bat in a Wuhan “wet market”—to a human) that has been widely propagated by the state-run Chinese media, the highly politicized World Health Organization, and medical trade journals like The Lancet, and Western media anxious to divert attention from China.

Even a U.S. government agency, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, had concluded in a classified report in May 2020 “that the hypothesis claiming the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is plausible and deserves further investigation.”

But on Oct. 29, an article in The Wall Street Journal quoted from a declassified intelligence report that made this incredible claim: “Researchers at a Wuhan, China, laboratory were probably unaware of the existence of the virus that causes Covid-19 before the pandemic began in late 2019, and if it leaked from the lab, it was likely the result of an accident not connected to deliberate genetic engineering.” Incredible, as in not believable at all!

Here is one item that was conveniently dropped down the memory hole in compiling that “intelligence report” and the Oct. 29 WSJ story that torpedoes the contention that the zoonotic theory is still possible. Back in June on its own pages, The WSJ reported that the CGG-CGG amino acid sequence found in the virus is manmade and can only have been inserted through gain-of-function research, as the CGG-CGG sequence is not found in nature.

How did the U.S. intelligence community sidestep that inconvenient truth in concluding that “U.S. government analysts cannot determine whether the global pandemic emerged when the virus passed to humans from an animal, or from a laboratory accident”? Did the 18 intelligence agencies that reviewed the final report neglect to review that study because the story reporting it was behind a paywall and not readily accessible?

A second item conveniently forgotten was the study completed by British professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sorensen in May 2021, which claimed “that Chinese scientists created COVID-19 in a Wuhan lab.” The two scientists also claimed to have first-hand evidence of Chinese “retro-engineering” in hand for over a year, but were ignored by the scientific community and others. Another stake in the heart of the zoonotic theory!

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Workers place barriers outside the closed Huanan Seafood wholesale market during a visit by members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team, investigating the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei Province on Jan. 31, 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

The final inconvenient truth is from The Oxford Student, which provided this final stake in the heart of the zoonotic theory: “Research by Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Fellow, Professor David Macdonald, has shown that neither bats nor pangolins were sold at Wuhan’s wet markets between May 2017 and November 2019.”

To summarize:

  1. The Oct. 29 WSJ article quoted a U.S. intel community report that claimed the following: a) that researchers at the WIV were “probably unaware” of the virus before “patient zero” contracted it, and b) the virus was not “connected to deliberate genetic engineering.”
  2. The virus contains a CGG-CGG sequence not found in nature, ergo it was genetically engineered.
  3. Evidence of Chinese virus “retro-engineering” has been suppressed for well over a year.
  4. There were no bats or pangolins sold in the Wuhan wet markets between May 2017 and November 2019.
  5. Conclusion: The zoonotic theory is a farce and complete misdirection.
  6. Secondary conclusion: Open-source research-derived evidence trumps classified obfuscation by the U.S. intelligence community.

No facts have ever been presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that “patient zero” was anywhere other than in Wuhan city, Hubei Province. In fact, all clinical evidence gathered to date points directly to Wuhan as ground zero for the outbreak. The only question is whether the outbreak was mendacious and accidental, or mendacious and purposeful, because the CCP lies have persisted regardless of which is correct. Regardless of which is true, the virus was human-engineered through gain-of-function research.

The U.S. intel community cannot conclude which alternative is correct, either, and apparently want us to believe a theory that the lab researchers who handled virus-contaminated material were simply unaware of the potential dangers, and blithely went about their jobs in a biosafety level 4 laboratory without taking appropriate personal precautions. Who truly believes that fantasy?

Focusing on “accidental release” rather than the virus origin itself is a poor attempt to exonerate the CCP. Even though that U.S. intel community report concluded that almost certainly the virus originated in Wuhan, never mind pressing the CCP for accountability for that bio-engineered virus that is still destroying the world economy and the lives of many innocents around the world. If the virus had not been bio-engineered in the first place, whether it was “leaked” purposely or accidentally would be irrelevant because the ensuing damage would not have occurred.

The state-run Chinese media tell us everything we need to know about the true origins of the virus. They know perfectly well that the virus was engineered, with the WIV being its last port of call before it was released into the human population. Denial and blame-shifting, including by Xi Jinping and his wolf warrior diplomats, mask that reality as they seek to avoid the financial pain that is coming when world consensus develops that restitution from the Chinese regime for the damages inflicted by the CCP virus is warranted and lawful.

Epoch Times Photo
Police officers wearing masks walk as the CCTV Building (left, back), the headquarters for the Chinese regime’s mouthpiece broadcaster, is seen in Beijing on May 19, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

And denial and blame-shifting about the virus origins has continued unabated in Chinese state-run media from early 2020 to the present day. Here are a few recent headlines:

  • “Objective, scientific, responsible attitude should be adopted for COVID-19 origins tracing: Chinese FM [Foreign Ministry]”—People’s Daily
  • “China slams ‘declassified assessment on COVID-19 origins’ released by U.S.”—Xinhua
  • “Stop scapegoating China! Chinese FM rejects US intelligence-led origins-tracing report”—Global Times

Conclusion

When all is said and done, and when all the CCP propaganda and denials are deconstructed, the facts remain—the communist Chinese regime and its media mouthpieces know that the human-engineered SARS-CoV-2 virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. And the CCP knows that the world will soon be knocking on its door, demanding restitution. Hence its continuing complete denials in the face of all evidence to the contrary, even when a U.S. intelligence community report provides them with a little bit of shade.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk retired as a captain after serving 30 years in the U.S. Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. Through education and experience as an oceanographer and systems analyst, Cvrk is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a classical liberal education that serves as the key foundation for his political commentary.