Media: “Strongest Evidence Yet” an Animal Started Pandemic

Raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

Several media reports surfaced this week claiming that “researchers” had discovered new evidence that the COVID-19 virus did not, in fact, come from a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

Instead, the epidemic that crippled the world’s government and economies for more than a year emerged from raccoon dogs sold at the infamous Wuhan wet market.

The Atlantic and the New York Times both carried stories on Thursday and Friday relating the raccoon-related findings.

From the New York Times:

“An international team of virus experts said on Thursday that they had found genetic data from a market in Wuhan, China, linking the coronavirus with raccoon dogs for sale there, adding evidence to the case that the worst pandemic in a century could have been ignited by an infected animal that was being dealt through the illegal wildlife trade.

“The genetic data was drawn from swabs taken from in and around the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market starting in January 2020, shortly after the Chinese authorities had shut down the market because of suspicions that it was linked to the outbreak of a new virus. By then, the animals had been cleared out, but researchers swabbed walls, floors, metal cages and carts often used for transporting animal cages.

The wet market was an early villain for those who disputed the lab leak theory and considered it a racist conspiracy to suggest that a lab that studied bat viruses in Wuhan could be linked to the emergence of a bat virus epidemic in Wuhan.

But there appear to be a few issues with the study.

For example, the “raccoon dog” material that was tested were tested long after the emergence of COVID-19. Also, some of the samples they tested contained multiple species DNA, including human DNA, suggesting the material they studied was, as the Times puts it, a “jumbling together of genetic material from the virus and the animal” that “does not prove that a raccoon dog itself was infected.”

The Times further notes that even if study showed a raccoon dog had COVID-19 in Jan. 2020 “it would not be clear that the animal had spread the virus to people.”

The Atlantic and New York Times stories seem to be a case of science transmogrifying into clickbait headlines, and the preponderance of the evidence still suggests that the virus emerged for the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The lab-leak theory has been politically controversial because the U.S. government funded non-profits who in turn subcontracted with the Wuhan lab.

Meaning, in other words, Tony Fauci’s government agency provided funding to the lab that begat the pandemic — a highly inconvenient fact.


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