Neoconavirus: CNRS says “it cannot be ruled out that the virus came from a Chinese lab”

The most authoritative scientific research centre in Europe has concluded that the hypothesis that the new coronavirus came from a laboratory is “not an unsubstantiated claim”, but a real possibility.

As the world watches the number of people infected with the new coronavirus and the new quarantine measures that are having a devastating impact on the economies of several countries, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), considered the second most authoritative scientific research centre in the world and the first in Europe, has concluded that the hypothesis of the new coronavirus coming from a laboratory is “not unsubstantiated”, but a real possibility. (National Center for Scientific Research, CNRS) – An important report was released Oct. 27, but it didn’t make much of a splash because we’re all now more focused on the impact of the new coronavirus than on its origins, but the The report is still worth knowing.

Summarizing months of research, Etienne Decroly, a leading virologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, explained on an official website of the research center that there are still many things scientists don’t know about the new coronavirus, but what they think they do know is that the virus comes from bats. The genetic sequence of the new coronavirus bears 96 percent resemblance to viruses found in bat droppings in China’s Yunnan province since 2013. The conclusion that the new coronavirus came from bats is now accepted by most scientists around the world.

However, the scientist at the research centre says the question is how the new coronavirus is transmitted from bats to humans. He said, “Up to now, there is no evidence that any virus has been transmitted directly from bats to humans.” According to De Crowley, the researchers were looking for an “intermediate host” between the bats infected with the new coronavirus and the people who were initially infected. Prior to the new coronavirus, other viruses were passed from bats to humans via primroses and dromedaries. De Crowley reports that the idea of a single pangolin as an “intermediate host” has not been proven, and some now believe that multiple crossbreeds of the new coronavirus between bats and pangolins led to the appearance of the deadly virus in a pangolin sold in a Wuhan seafood market, which then infected a human.

The research center scientist added that this claim, however, is still very uncertain, first, “because of geographic reasons: the infected bat samples were collected in Yunnan Province, close to 1,500 km from Wuhan, where the outbreak occurred.” Second, “for ecological reasons: bats and pangolins evolved and developed in different ecosystems, and it is puzzling under what circumstances the viruses in them could combine.” Third, and most importantly, the rate of sequence identity between neoconviruses and pangolins is “only 90.3%,” which is much lower than the rate of genetic identity commonly observed between humans and their intermediate hosts. For example, the genome of the SARS virus is 99% identical to the genome of the cat that evolved the virus”.

As a result, De Crowley reports, “most scientists now believe that the pangolin is unrelated to the emergence of the new coronavirus”. They have looked for other animals that might play an “intermediate host” role, but so far have not found any such animals. So, the idea that the neocrown virus “leaked accidentally from the lab”, which many dismiss as unsubstantiated, is still a plausible possibility, according to the research center scientist.

Although there is also no hard evidence for this claim, it “cannot be ruled out”, also considering that there have been previous virus leaks in laboratories working on bat-related viruses and that the Chinese laboratories working on these viruses are indeed in and around Wuhan.

All in all, De Crowley said, there are three possibilities as to the source of the new coronavirus. The first possibility is that it was transmitted from bats to humans through an “intermediate host” animal, but “we should remember that no such animal has been found. The second possibility is that the new coronavirus was not actually created in 2019, but is a disease that has been circulating in humans for years and has gone undetected because there have been so few cases. This second theory still raises questions about how the virus infected people in the first place, but confirming this would require digging up and dissecting the bodies of people who died of this pneumonia in Wuhan before 2019.

The third theory is that what we now call neoconavirus “evolved from a bat virus isolated by scientists at the time of virus collection, and was accidentally leaked from the laboratory after being used on other specimens during research on animal models”. This is not an unsubstantiated claim and should not be confused with the claim that China has created a biochemical weapon or intentionally infected the world, which the French National Centre for Scientific Research does not support, the research centre expert said. De Crowley argues that the manipulation of bat-related viruses could occur in Chinese laboratories for legitimate scientific research purposes. However, he also believes that since there have been virus leaks in the past, safety precautions may not have been sufficient and that the experiments should have been stopped because they were too dangerous.

The French researcher finally concluded that until the first or second claim is proven (but the second claim simply blames the past for the source of the virus and doesn’t really solve the problem), one has no right to rule out the third claim as unsubstantiated. De Crowley adds, “The practice of studying the source of a novel coronavirus is within the realm of science and cannot be compared to a claim without evidence. And I insist that as long as an intermediate host has not been found, the scientific community cannot dismiss the notion that the virus was accidentally leaked from a laboratory.” “The question of the natural or artificial source of the new coronavirus should not rely on political work or communication strategies to determine this. It should be tested against the scientific data we have at hand. Our claims must also take into account what virology laboratories are currently able to achieve, and also the fact that it has become common practice in some laboratories to manipulate the genomes of viruses that can cause disease.”

The CNRS scientist is understandably cautious, but beyond this caution lies the fact that, if the third statement is found to be the most plausible, then the Chinese laboratory’s “manipulation of viruses that can cause disease” is a “common practice.” Mistakes” have been the cause of death and months of hardship for more than a million people around the world. Will the Chinese Communist Party pay for it?