01262021

Covid: Wuhan scientist would 'welcome' visit probing lab leak theory


Covid: Wuhan scientist would ‘welcome’ visit probing lab leak theory – BBC News

u003cscript type=”text/javascript”>n IDT.init(“graphicUUID”:”f41db06d-7709-4ec5-a2f8-2537c05fe345″);n u003c/script>”,”type”:”idt2″,”idt2Image”:”alt”:””I would personally welcome any form of visit, based on an open, transparent, trusting, reliable and reasonable dialogue. But the specific plan is not decided by me.”, Source: Prof Shi Zhengli , Source description: , Image: “,”src”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1632/idt2/idt2/f41db06d-7709-4ec5-a2f8-2537c05fe345/image/816″,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/920/idt2/idt2/f41db06d-7709-4ec5-a2f8-2537c05fe345/image/460 920w,https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1280/idt2/idt2/f41db06d-7709-4ec5-a2f8-2537c05fe345/image/640 1280w,https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1632/idt2/idt2/f41db06d-7709-4ec5-a2f8-2537c05fe345/image/816 1632w”}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The Chinese government, the WIV, and Prof Shi have all angrily dismissed the allegation of a virus leak from the Wuhan lab.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The Chinese government, the WIV, and Prof Shi have all angrily dismissed the allegation of a virus leak from the Wuhan lab.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”But with scientists appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) scheduled to visit Wuhan in January for an inquiry into the origin of the pandemic, Prof Shi – who has given few interviews since the pandemic began – answered a number of BBC questions by email.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”But with scientists appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) scheduled to visit Wuhan in January for an inquiry into the origin of the pandemic, Prof Shi – who has given few interviews since the pandemic began – answered a number of BBC questions by email.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””I have communicated with the WHO experts twice,” she wrote, when asked if an investigation might help rule out a lab leak and end the speculation. “I have personally and clearly expressed that I would welcome them to visit the WIV,” she said.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””I have communicated with the WHO experts twice,” she wrote, when asked if an investigation might help rule out a lab leak and end the speculation. “I have personally and clearly expressed that I would welcome them to visit the WIV,” she said.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”To a follow-up question about whether that would include a formal investigation with access to the WIV’s experimental data and laboratory records, Prof Shi said: “I would personally welcome any form of visit based on an open, transparent, trusting, reliable and reasonable dialogue. But the specific plan is not decided by me.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”To a follow-up question about whether that would include a formal investigation with access to the WIV’s experimental data and laboratory records, Prof Shi said: “I would personally welcome any form of visit based on an open, transparent, trusting, reliable and reasonable dialogue. But the specific plan is not decided by me.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The BBC subsequently received a call from the WIV’s press office, saying that Prof Shi was speaking in a personal capacity and her answers had not been approved by the WIV.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The BBC subsequently received a call from the WIV’s press office, saying that Prof Shi was speaking in a personal capacity and her answers had not been approved by the WIV.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The BBC denied a request to send the press office a copy of this article in advance.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The BBC denied a request to send the press office a copy of this article in advance.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”image”,”model”:”emphasiseImage”:false,”caption”:”Dr Peter Daszak: “I’ve yet to see any evidence at all of a lab leak or a lab involvement in this outbreak””,”media”:”__typename”:”ComponentsImage”,”src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png”,”originalSrc”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png”,”iChefRecipe”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/$recipe/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png”,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/234F/production/_116193090_8xpyxmaa.png 976w”,”height”:549,”width”:976,”alt”:”Peter”,”loading”:”lazy”,{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Many scientists believe that by far the most likely scenario is that Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, jumped naturally from bats to humans, possibly via an intermediary species. And despite Prof Shi’s offer, for now there appears to be little chance of the WHO inquiry looking into the lab-leak theory.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Many scientists believe that by far the most likely scenario is that Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, jumped naturally from bats to humans, possibly via an intermediary species. And despite Prof Shi’s offer, for now there appears to be little chance of the WHO inquiry looking into the lab-leak theory.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”The terms of reference for the WHO inquiry make no mention of the theory, and some members of the 10-person team have all but ruled it out.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”The terms of reference for the WHO inquiry”,”locator”:”https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-convened-global-study-of-the-origins-of-sars-cov-2″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The terms of reference for the WHO inquiry”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:” make no mention of the theory, and some members of the 10-person team have all but ruled it out.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”Peter Daszak, a British zoologist, has been chosen as part of the team because of his leading role in a multimillion dollar, international project to sample wild viruses.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Peter Daszak, a British zoologist, has been chosen as part of the team “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”because of his leading role in a multimillion dollar, international project to sample wild viruses”,”locator”:”https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1864/predict-global-flyer-508.pdf”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”because of his leading role in a multimillion dollar, international project to sample wild viruses”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”It has involved close collaboration with Prof Shi Zhengli in her mass sampling of bats in China, and Dr Daszak previously called the lab-leak theory a “conspiracy theory” and “pure baloney”.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”It has involved close collaboration with Prof Shi Zhengli in her mass sampling of bats in China, and “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daszak previously called the lab-leak theory a “conspiracy theory” and “pure baloney””,”locator”:”https://www.democracynow.org/2020/4/16/peter_daszak_coronavirus”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daszak previously called the lab-leak theory a “conspiracy theory” and “pure baloney””,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””I’ve yet to see any evidence at all of a lab leak or a lab involvement in this outbreak,” he said. “I have seen substantial evidence that these are naturally occurring phenomena driven by human encroachment into wildlife habitat, which is clearly on display across south-east Asia.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””I’ve yet to see any evidence at all of a lab leak or a lab involvement in this outbreak,” he said. “I have seen substantial evidence that these are naturally occurring phenomena driven by human encroachment into wildlife habitat, which is clearly on display across south-east Asia.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Asked about seeking access to the Wuhan lab to rule the lab-leak theory out, he said: “That’s not my job to do that.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Asked about seeking access to the Wuhan lab to rule the lab-leak theory out, he said: “That’s not my job to do that.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””The WHO negotiated the terms of reference, and they say we’re going to follow the evidence, and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he added.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””The WHO negotiated the terms of reference, and they say we’re going to follow the evidence, and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he added.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”image”,”model”:”emphasiseImage”:false,”caption”:”The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was linked to early cases of the new coronavirus”,”copyright”:”Getty Images”,”media”:”__typename”:”ComponentsImage”,”src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg”,”originalSrc”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg”,”iChefRecipe”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/$recipe/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg”,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/11C7D/production/_116192827_gettyimages-1194134328.jpg 976w”,”height”:549,”width”:976,”alt”:”Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in January, Wuhan”,”loading”:”lazy”,{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”One focus of the inquiry will be a market in Wuhan which was known to be trading in wildlife and was linked to a number of early cases, though the Chinese authorities appear to have already discounted it as a source of the virus. “,”blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”One focus of the inquiry will be a market in Wuhan”,”locator”:”https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1189506.shtml”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”One focus of the inquiry will be a market in Wuhan”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:” which was known to be trading in wildlife and was linked to a number of early cases, though the Chinese authorities appear to have already discounted it as a source of the virus. “,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daszak said the WHO team would “look at those clusters of cases, look at the contacts, look at where the animals in the market have come from and see where that takes us”.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daszak said the WHO team would “look at those clusters of cases, look at the contacts, look at where the animals in the market have come from and see where that takes us”.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The deaths of the three Tongguan workers following exposure to a mineshaft full of bats raised suspicions that they’d succumbed to a bat coronavirus.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The deaths of the three Tongguan workers following exposure to a mineshaft full of bats raised suspicions that they’d succumbed to a bat coronavirus.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”It was exactly the kind of animal-to-human “spillover” that was driving the WIV to sample and test bats in Yunnan.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”It was exactly the kind of animal-to-human “spillover” that was driving the WIV to sample and test bats in Yunnan.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”It is no surprise then that, following those deaths, the WIV scientists began sampling bats in the Tongguan mineshaft in earnest, making multiple visits over the next three years and detecting 293 coronaviruses.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”It is no surprise then that, following those deaths, the WIV scientists began sampling bats in the Tongguan mineshaft in earnest, making multiple visits over the next three years and detecting 293 coronaviruses.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”But apart from one brief paper, very little was published about the viruses they collected on those trips.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”But apart from one brief paper”,”locator”:”https://www.virosin.org/article/doi/10.1007/s12250-016-3713-9″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”But apart from one brief paper”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”, very little was published about the viruses they collected on those trips.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”In January this year, Prof Shi Zhengli became one of the first people in the world to sequence Sars-Cov-2, which was already spreading rapidly through the streets and homes of her city.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”In January this year, “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”Prof Shi Zhengli became one of the first people in the world to sequence Sars-Cov-2″,”locator”:”https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2012-7″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Prof Shi Zhengli became one of the first people in the world to sequence Sars-Cov-2″,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”, which was already spreading rapidly through the streets and homes of her city.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”She then compared the long string of letters representing the virus’s unique genetic code with the extensive library of other viruses collected and stored over the years.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”She then compared the long string of letters representing the virus’s unique genetic code with the extensive library of other viruses collected and stored over the years.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”And she discovered that her database contained the closest known relative of Sars-Cov-2. “,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”And she discovered that her database contained the closest known relative of Sars-Cov-2. “,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”RaTG13 is a virus whose name has been derived from the bat it was extracted from (Rhinolophus affinis, Ra), the place it was found (Tongguan, TG), and the year it was identified, 2013. “,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”RaTG13 is a virus whose name has been derived from the bat it was extracted from (Rhinolophus affinis, Ra), the place it was found (Tongguan, TG), and the year it was identified, 2013. “,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Seven years after it was found in that mineshaft, RaTG13 was about to become one of the most hotly contested scientific subjects of our time.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Seven years after it was found in that mineshaft, RaTG13 was about to become one of the most hotly contested scientific subjects of our time.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”image”,”model”:”emphasiseImage”:false,”caption”:”China imposed tough restrictions on Wuhan to stop the spread of the virus”,”copyright”:”Getty Images”,”media”:”__typename”:”ComponentsImage”,”src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg”,”originalSrc”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg”,”iChefRecipe”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/$recipe/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg”,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/4B96/production/_116205391_gettyimages-1208549833.jpg 976w”,”height”:549,”width”:976,”alt”:”A woman wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant in a pharmacy in Wuhan, in China’s central Hubei province on March 30, 2020″,”loading”:”lazy”,{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”There have been many well-documented cases of viruses leaking from labs. The first Sars virus, for example, leaked twice from the National Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004, long after the outbreak had been brought under control.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”There have been many well-documented cases of viruses leaking from labs. “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”The first Sars virus, for example, leaked twice from the National Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004″,”locator”:”https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20040427-03″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The first Sars virus, for example, leaked twice from the National Institute of Virology in Beijing in 2004″,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”, long after the outbreak had been brought under control.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The practice of genetically manipulating viruses is also not new, allowing scientists to make them more infectious or more deadly, so they can assess the threat and, perhaps, develop treatments or vaccines.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The practice of genetically manipulating viruses is also not new, allowing scientists to make them more infectious or more deadly, so they can assess the threat and, perhaps, develop treatments or vaccines.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”And from the moment it was isolated and sequenced, scientists have been struck by the remarkable ability of Sars-Cov-2 to infect humans.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”And from the moment it was isolated and sequenced, scientists have been struck by the remarkable ability of Sars-Cov-2 to infect humans.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The possibility that it acquired that ability as a result of manipulation in a laboratory was taken seriously enough for an influential group of international scientists to address it head on.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The possibility that it acquired that ability as a result of manipulation in a laboratory was taken seriously enough for an influential group of international scientists to address it head on.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”In what has become the definitive paper ruling out the possibility of a lab leak, RaTG13 has a starring role.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”In what has become the definitive paper ruling out the possibility of a lab leak, RaTG13 has a starring role.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”Published in March in the magazine Nature Medicine, it suggests that if there had been a leak, Prof Shi Zhengli would have found a much closer match in her database than RaTG13.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”Published in March in the magazine Nature Medicine”,”locator”:”https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Published in March in the magazine Nature Medicine”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”, it suggests that if there had been a leak, Prof Shi Zhengli would have found a much closer match in her database than RaTG13.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”While RaTG13 is the closest known relative – at 96.2% similarity – it is still too distant to have been manipulated and changed into Sars-Cov-2.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”While RaTG13 is the closest known relative – at 96.2% similarity – it is still too distant to have been manipulated and changed into Sars-Cov-2.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Sars-Cov-2, the authors concluded, was likely to have gained its unique efficiency through a long, undetected period of circulation in humans or animals of a natural and milder precursor virus that eventually evolved into the potent, deadly form first detected in Wuhan in 2019.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Sars-Cov-2, the authors concluded, was likely to have gained its unique efficiency through a long, undetected period of circulation in humans or animals of a natural and milder precursor virus that eventually evolved into the potent, deadly form first detected in Wuhan in 2019.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”image”,”model”:”emphasiseImage”:false,”caption”:”Medics and scientists in Wuhan battled to control the early stages of the pandemic”,”copyright”:”Getty Images”,”media”:”__typename”:”ComponentsImage”,”src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg”,”originalSrc”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg”,”iChefRecipe”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/$recipe/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg”,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/240/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 240w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 320w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/480/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 480w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 624w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 800w, https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/3605/production/_116192831_gettyimages-1197635726.jpg 976w”,”height”:549,”width”:976,”alt”:”This photo taken on January 30, 2020 shows a doctor putting on a pair of protective glasses before entering the isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province”,”loading”:”lazy”,{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”Where though, some scientists are beginning to wonder, are those reservoirs of earlier natural infection?”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Where though, “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”some scientists are beginning to wonder”,”locator”:”https://www.pnas.org/content/117/47/29246″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”some scientists are beginning to wonder”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”, are those reservoirs of earlier natural infection?”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daniel Lucey is a physician and infectious disease professor at the Georgetown Medical Centre in Washington DC and a veteran of many pandemics – Sars in China, Ebola in Africa, Zika in Brazil.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Daniel Lucey is a physician and infectious disease professor at the Georgetown Medical Centre in Washington DC and a veteran of many pandemics – Sars in China, Ebola in Africa, Zika in Brazil.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”He is certain that China has already conducted thorough searches for evidence of precursor viruses in stored human samples in hospitals and in animal populations.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”He is certain that China has already conducted thorough searches for evidence of precursor viruses in stored human samples in hospitals and in animal populations.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””They have the capability, they have the resources and they have the motivation, so of course they’ve done the studies in animals and in humans,” he said.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””They have the capability, they have the resources and they have the motivation, so of course they’ve done the studies in animals and in humans,” he said.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Finding the origin of an outbreak was vital, he said, not just for wider scientific understanding, but also to stop it emerging again.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Finding the origin of an outbreak was vital, he said, not just for wider scientific understanding, but also to stop it emerging again.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””We should search until we find it. I think it’s findable and I think it’s quite possible it’s already been found,” he said. “But then the question arises, why hasn’t it been disclosed?””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””We should search until we find it. I think it’s findable and I think it’s quite possible it’s already been found,” he said. “But then the question arises, why hasn’t it been disclosed?””,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”media”,”model”:”caption”:”Covid-19: How everyday life has changed in Wuhan”,”media”:”__typename”:”ElementsMediaPlayer”,”items”:[“id”:”p090ykts”,”title”:”How everyday life has changed in Wuhan”,”holdingImageUrl”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/$recipe/p090z6d2.jpg”,”kind”:”programme”,”isEmbeddingAllowed”:true,”isAdvertisingAllowed”:true],{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Lucey still believes that Sars-Cov-2 is most likely to have a natural origin, but he does not want the alternatives to be so readily ruled out.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Dr Lucey still believes that Sars-Cov-2 is most likely to have a natural origin, but he does not want the alternatives to be so readily ruled out.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””So here we are, 12, 13 months out since the first recognised case of Covid-19 and we haven’t found the animal source,” he said. “So, to me, it’s all the more reason to investigate alternative explanations.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””So here we are, 12, 13 months out since the first recognised case of Covid-19 and we haven’t found the animal source,” he said. “So, to me, it’s all the more reason to investigate alternative explanations.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Might a Chinese laboratory have had a virus they were working on that was genetically closer to Sars-Cov-2, and would they tell us now if they did? “Not everything that’s done is published,” Dr Lucey said.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Might a Chinese laboratory have had a virus they were working on that was genetically closer to Sars-Cov-2, and would they tell us now if they did? “Not everything that’s done is published,” Dr Lucey said.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”It’s a point I put to Peter Daszak, the member of the WHO origins study team.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”It’s a point I put to Peter Daszak, the member of the WHO origins study team.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””You know, I’ve worked with the WIV for a good decade or more,” he said. “I know some of the people there pretty well and I have visited the labs frequently, I’ve met and had dinner with them over 15 years.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””You know, I’ve worked with the WIV for a good decade or more,” he said. “I know some of the people there pretty well and I have visited the labs frequently, I’ve met and had dinner with them over 15 years.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””I’m working in China with eyes wide open, and I’m racking my brain back in time for the slightest hint of something untoward. And I’ve never seen that.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””I’m working in China with eyes wide open, and I’m racking my brain back in time for the slightest hint of something untoward. And I’ve never seen that.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Asked if those friendships and funding relationships with the WIV presented a conflict of interest with his role on the inquiry, he said: “We file our papers; it’s all there for everyone to see.” “,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Asked if those friendships and funding relationships with the WIV presented a conflict of interest with his role on the inquiry, he said: “We file our papers; it’s all there for everyone to see.” “,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”And his collaboration with the WIV, he said, “makes me one of the people on the planet who knows the most about the origins of these bat coronaviruses in China”.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”And his collaboration with the WIV, he said, “makes me one of the people on the planet who knows the most about the origins of these bat coronaviruses in China”.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”include”,”model”:”href”:”/idt2/79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb/html”,”html”:” u003cstyle data-styled=”dkfFzK eZwimE jBAUmy itIXgb lazDte ikzIiH bHAJgM” data-styled-version=”4.0.3″>n/* sc-component-id: PicContainer-iky41v-0 */n.dkfFzK.dkfFzKbackground-color:#F2EFEC;overflow:hidden;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-webkit-flex-wrap:wrap;-ms-flex-wrap:wrap;flex-wrap:wrap;box-sizing:border-box;n/* sc-component-id: Cite-qnk335-0 */n.bHAJgM.bHAJgMcolor:#404040;font-family:Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-style:normal; 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But it’s used by conspiracy theorists to doubt meu003c/div>u003csvg width=”43″ height=”3″ xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/2000/svg” viewBox=”0 0 43 3″ class=”RuleBreak__SVG-lfivii-0 lazDte”>u003cpath d=”M1.5 1.5h40″ stroke=”#C9A975″ stroke-width=”3″ fill=”none” fill-rule=”evenodd” stroke-linecap=”square”>u003c/path>u003c/svg>u003cfooter class=”PicFooter-ugmt5p-0 ikzIiH”>u003ccite class=”Cite-qnk335-0 bHAJgM”>u003cstrong>Prof Shi Zhengli u003c/strong>u003cbr/>u003c/cite>u003c/footer>u003c/blockquote>u003c/div>u003c/div>u003cscript type=”text/javascript” src=”https://news.files.bbci.co.uk/include/idt2/static/js/quotePic.87bf9a21.js”>u003c/script>u003cscript type=”text/javascript”>n IDT.init(“graphicUUID”:”79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb”);n u003c/script>”,”type”:”idt2″,”idt2Image”:”alt”:””The conclusion [of the Kunming Hospital University thesis] is neither based on evidence nor logic. But it’s used by conspiracy theorists to doubt me”, Source: Prof Shi Zhengli , Source description: , Image: “,”src”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1632/idt2/idt2/79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb/image/816″,”srcSet”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/920/idt2/idt2/79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb/image/460 920w,https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1280/idt2/idt2/79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb/image/640 1280w,https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1632/idt2/idt2/79d47a9f-2b0d-41f3-a701-76049fa3fcfb/image/816 1632w”,{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”China may have provided only limited data about its hunt for the origin of Sars-Cov-2, but it has begun to promote a theory of its own.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”China may have provided only limited data about its hunt for the origin of Sars-Cov-2, but it has begun to promote a theory of its own.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”Based on a few inconclusive studies conducted by scientists in Europe that suggest Covid-19 may have been circulating earlier than previously thought, state propaganda is full of stories suggesting the virus didn’t start in China at all.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Based on a few inconclusive studies conducted by scientists in Europe that suggest Covid-19 may have been circulating earlier than previously thought, “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”state propaganda is full of stories suggesting the virus didn’t start in China at all”,”locator”:”https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1208404.shtml”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”state propaganda is full of stories suggesting the virus didn’t start in China at all”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”.”,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”In the absence of proper data, speculation is only likely to grow, much of it focused on RaTG13 and its origins in a Tongguan mineshaft. Old academic papers have been dug up online that appear to differ from the WIV’s statements about the sick mine workers – among them a thesis by a student at the Kunming Hospital University.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”In the absence of proper data, speculation is only likely to grow, much of it focused on RaTG13 and its origins in a Tongguan mineshaft. Old academic papers have been dug up online that appear to differ from the WIV’s statements about the sick mine workers – among them a thesis by a student at the Kunming Hospital University.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””I’ve just downloaded the Kunming Hospital University student’s masters thesis and read it,” Prof Shi told the BBC. “,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””I’ve just downloaded the Kunming Hospital University student’s masters thesis and read it,” Prof Shi told the BBC. “,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””The narrative doesn’t make sense,” she said. “The conclusion is neither based on evidence nor logic. But it’s used by conspiracy theorists to doubt me. If you were me, what you would do?””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””The narrative doesn’t make sense,” she said. “The conclusion is neither based on evidence nor logic. But it’s used by conspiracy theorists to doubt me. If you were me, what you would do?””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:{“text”:”Prof Shi has also faced questions about why the WIV’s online public database of viruses was suddenly taken offline. “,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Prof Shi has also faced questions about why “,”attributes”:[],”type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”the WIV’s online public database of viruses”,”locator”:”http://batvirus.whiov.ac.cn/”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”the WIV’s online public database of viruses”,”attributes”:[]],”type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:” was suddenly taken offline. “,”attributes”:[]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”She told the BBC that the WIV’s website and the staff’s work emails and personal emails had been attacked, and the database taken offline for security reasons.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”She told the BBC that the WIV’s website and the staff’s work emails and personal emails had been attacked, and the database taken offline for security reasons.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””All our research results are published in English journals in the form of papers,” she said. “Virus sequences are saved in the [US-run] GenBank database too. It’s completely transparent. We have nothing to hide.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””All our research results are published in English journals in the form of papers,” she said. “Virus sequences are saved in the [US-run] GenBank database too. It’s completely transparent. We have nothing to hide.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},”type”:”media”,”model”:”caption”:”Can you become immune to coronavirus?”,”media”:”__typename”:”ElementsMediaPlayer”,”items”:[“id”:”p08k4tp6″,”title”:”Can you become immune to coronavirus?”,”holdingImageUrl”:”https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/$recipe/p08k4vl6.jpg”,”kind”:”programme”,”isEmbeddingAllowed”:true,”isAdvertisingAllowed”:true],{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”There are important questions to be asked in the Yunnan countryside, not just by scientists, but by journalists too.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”There are important questions to be asked in the Yunnan countryside, not just by scientists, but by journalists too.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”After a decade of sampling and experimenting on viruses collected from bats, we now know that back in 2013 the closest known ancestor was discovered of a future threat that would claim well over a million lives and devastate the global economy.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”After a decade of sampling and experimenting on viruses collected from bats, we now know that back in 2013 the closest known ancestor was discovered of a future threat that would claim well over a million lives and devastate the global economy.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Yet the WIV, according to the published information, did nothing with it, except sequence it and enter it into a database.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Yet the WIV, according to the published information, did nothing with it, except sequence it and enter it into a database.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Ought that to call into question the very premise on which the expensive, and some would say risky, mass sampling of wild viruses is based?”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Ought that to call into question the very premise on which the expensive, and some would say risky, mass sampling of wild viruses is based?”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””To say that we didn’t do enough is absolutely correct,” Peter Daszak told the BBC. “To say that we failed is not fair at all. What we should have been doing is 10 times the amount of work on these viruses.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””To say that we didn’t do enough is absolutely correct,” Peter Daszak told the BBC. “To say that we failed is not fair at all. What we should have been doing is 10 times the amount of work on these viruses.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”Both Dr Daszak and Prof Shi are adamant that pandemic prevention research is vital, urgent work.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Both Dr Daszak and Prof Shi are adamant that pandemic prevention research is vital, urgent work.”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:””Our research is forward-looking, and it’s difficult for non-professionals to understand,” Prof Shi wrote by email. “In the face of countless micro-organisms that exist in nature, we humans are very small.””,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:””Our research is forward-looking, and it’s difficult for non-professionals to understand,” Prof Shi wrote by email. “In the face of countless micro-organisms that exist in nature, we humans are very small.””,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”unorderedList”,”model”:{“blocks”:[{“type”:”listItem”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”New coronavirus variant: What do we know?”,”locator”:”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”New coronavirus variant: What do we know?”,”attributes”:[]]]}},{“type”:”listItem”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”urlLink”,”model”:”text”:”Tracking the global pandemic: Where has been hit hardest?”,”locator”:”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51235105″,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”Tracking the global pandemic: Where has been hit hardest?”,”attributes”:[]]]}}]}},{“type”:”text”,”model”:{“blocks”:[“type”:”paragraph”,”model”:”text”:”The WHO is promising an “open-minded” inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus, but the Chinese government is not keen on questions, at least not from journalists.”,”blocks”:[“type”:”fragment”,”model”:”text”:”The WHO is promising an “open-minded” inquiry into the 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