NYP– From almost the moment the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the medical-research establishment in Washington and London insisted that the virus had emerged naturally. Only conspiracy theorists, they said, would give credence to the idea that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Now, a string of unearthed emails — the most recent being a batch viewed by the House Oversight and Reform Committee and referred to in its Jan. 11 letter — is making it seem increasingly likely that there was, in fact, a conspiracy, its aim being to suppress the notion that the virus had emerged from research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Anthony Fauci.
The latest emails don’t prove such a conspiracy, but they make it more plausible for two reasons: because the expert virologists therein present such a strong case for thinking that the virus had lab-made features, and because of the wholly political reaction to this bombshell on the part of Francis Collins, then-director of the National Institutes of Health.
They agreed, until they didn’t
The story begins with a Jan. 31, 2020, email to Fauci from a group of four virologists led by Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute. The genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 had been published three weeks before, giving virologists their first look at the virus’ structure and possible origin.
Andersen reported to Fauci that “after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” Eddie is Edward C. Holmes of the University of Sydney; Bob is Robert F. Garry of Tulane University; Mike is Michael Farzan at Scripps Research. In their unanimous view, the virus didn’t come from nature and may instead have escaped from a lab. more here