Here’s my main problem with the “lab leak” idea: the Wuhan lab wasn’t a secret black facility, they had international collaborators. So if they had isolated and cultured a new coronavirus that was the ancestor of SARS-Cov-2, and were doing gain of function or host change experiments on it, wouldn’t they have mentioned it to someone outside the lab?

Now you could claim that maybe this particular project was secret, but why would it be, when I believe they had done similar work with international collaborators? It’s not like coronaviruses would have military value - an agent that spreads easily between people and usually causes mild symptoms in people young and fit enough to be soldiers is the opposite of what you’d want.

What would scientists in this field say to this objection?

To me the only “leak” scenario that makes sense is that they brought it back from the bat caves without realising it.

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my bigger question isn't about lab leak but why so many scientists seem to think it's credible but won't talk about it. do ppl have a lot of random unfounded beliefs they don't moot? it's a curious phenomenon

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I remember Bret Weinstein talking about this Lab leak Hypothesis on Rogan.

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It is astonishing that scientists and journalists believe censoring the lab leak theory will help tamp down the dreaded "conspiracy theories" about an engineered bioweapon or deliberate release. They have cause and effect completely backwards. Of course, a lab leak is always a plausible hypothesis for any disease outbreak, especially in an urban area remote from regions where the disease would be expected. Every thinking member of the public knows it.

So, when experts mock any mention of this scenario right out of the gate or even claim it to be virtually impossible, the public knows they are lying. And they wonder: "Why the blatant lies? It seems like these experts must be hiding something really big and awful to get so panicked and strident. Why throw away their integrity just to pretend that a tech couldn't prick their finger or a lab rat escape? We all watched Outbreak." Disparaging the obvious possibilities feeds distrust and suspicion that something even more nefarious must be afoot. Now, Average Joe's mind naturally turns to the weapons and evil plans of movie plots. If only he realized that plain old lab leaks are a can of worms that scientists the world over fear opening.

Equally baffling to me is the notion spreading around that somehow proving Covid-19 evolved through a naturally occurring zoonotic transmission into humans negates that this pandemic could be triggered by a lab leak. These are not mutually exclusive events. Imagine Ebola suddenly broke out in Frederick, Maryland. Sure, swab any local primates, check the flight logs from the Congo, but the question of a lab leak from Ft. Detrick would be top of mind. A bunch of scientists insisting that this couldn't be related to the lab, because the genetics prove it's a naturally occurring new strain of Ebola, would be laughable. It probably did emerge naturally - in a remote corner of Africa. And then some US researchers recently showed up to quietly investigate a suspected Ebola outbreak. They collected samples from a few stricken villagers, took them back to Ft. Detrick and screwed up.

Which brings us to ground zero in Wuhan. When I heard Wuhan was home to China's only BSL-4 lab with a specialization in the research of bat coronaviruses, I thought it an amazing coincidence. When I then heard that China's CDC lab (BSL-2?), also interested in coronaviruses, is located 400M from the seafood market, I thought it a restore-my-belief-in-god coincidence! At that point a connection to the labs becomes the leading hypothesis in my mind.

A Lab Manipulated Version: COVID-19 is the product of a gain-of-function experimentation at the WIV that was shared with their frequent collaborators in the CDC lab and mishandled (or maybe patient zero is from the WIV and went to a CDC meeting)...

A Natural Version: Sometime in the last few years, between the miners dying and the outbreak in Wuhan, an outbreak of a milder SARS like virus in Southern China was identified by authorities. It was small, never made it to the media, and therefore not reported to international partners. Maybe they had contained it and figured they could avoid bad press. Maybe it was ongoing in early 2019 and they didn't want to report the war until the battle was won. But, samples from human cases would be collected and taken back to the CDC lab in Wuhan. And then they were mishandled...

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