The world’s most respected medical journal has finally come out and admitted what has in the not-so-distant past gotten people banned from social media platforms for suggesting: COVID-19 may have been engineered and leaked from a laboratory.
But there’s a plot twist that has many furious and questioning the study’s credibility: The leak may have happened at a U.S. lab.
The Lancet’s 58-page “Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic” report was meant to be the definitive word on the virus and the havoc it wreaked on the world, but after its publication on Wednesday, scientists have turned on the 199-year-old journal, with one virologist calling it “one of the Lancet’s most shameful moments.”
The report looked at both “natural and laboratory spillovers” as possible origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“More than 2 years into the pandemic, the search for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains incomplete and inconclusive,” the Commission wrote. “Independent experts consulted by the Lancet COVID-19 Commission shared the view that hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers are in play and need further investigation.”
“Two main possible pathways of emergence have been identified,” the report states. “The first is that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a natural spillover event—that is, from a non-research-related zoonotic transmission of the virus from an animal to a human, and thereafter from human to human.”
Here’s why the Lab Leak Theory shouldn’t be dismissed https://t.co/NPpLeUhbgm
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) April 10, 2021
“The second is that the virus emerged from research-related activities, with three possible research-related pathways: the infection of a researcher in the field while collecting samples, the infection of a researcher in the laboratory while studying viruses collected in their natural habitat, and the infection of a researcher in the laboratory while studying viruses that have been genetically manipulated,” it continues.
Both pathways, the Lancet says, are “feasible.”
With respect to the lab leak theory, the Lancet explains that gain-of-function research spiked in the 2000s, following an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
“The bioengineering of SARS-CoV-like viruses for the study and testing of potential drugs and vaccines advanced substantially after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in the 2000s,” the report states. “Laboratory experiments included the creation of novel viruses (eg, so-called consensus viruses that average the genetic code across a set of natural viruses), the mutation of viruses (such as through the insertion of a furin cleavage site), the creation of chimeric viruses, and the serial passaging of viruses through cell cultures to test their transmissibility, virulence, immunogenicity, and host tropism.”
“As laboratory technologies have rapidly advanced, many scientists have warned of the increasing risks of undersupervised and under-regulated genetic manipulation of SARS-CoV-like viruses and other potential pandemic pathogens,” the Lancet continues, adding that, currently, there is ” no system for the global monitoring and regulation of gain-of-function research of concern.”
The journal notes that there hasn’t been a meaningful investigation of “the bioengineering of SARS-like viruses” that was going on before the pandemic began.
“The laboratory notebooks, databases, email records, and samples of institutions involved in such research have not been made available to independent researchers. Independent researchers have not yet investigated the US laboratories engaged in the laboratory manipulation of SARS-CoV-like viruses, nor have they investigated the details of the laboratory research that had been underway in Wuhan,” the report states.
“Moreover,” it continues, “the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has resisted disclosing details of the research on SARS-CoV-related viruses that it had been supporting, providing extensively redacted information only as required by Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.”
And here is the source of the outrage. The Lancet is suggesting that the NIH has been less than forthcoming with the world, and, as the head of the NIH, that potentially implicates Dr. Anthony Fauci.
‘That’s not science, that’s conjecture’: Rand Paul dismantles Fauci over vaccines, AGAIN https://t.co/wyqTfbyERw
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 17, 2022
That was enough to get those in the science community to turn on the medical journal upon which they have relied since 1823.
First to come under fire was the head of the Lancet’s commission, economist Jeffrey Sachs, who has in the past been vocal about his belief that COVID-19 likely came from a U.S. lab.
After he appeared on a podcast with Robert Kennedy, Jr., and compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, he became an easy target.
“Sachs’ appearance on RFK Jr’s podcast… undermines the seriousness of the Lancet Commission’s mission to the point of completely negating it,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Canada, told Telegraph, according to the Daily Beast.
“This may be one of the Lancet’s most shameful moments regarding its role as a steward and leader in communicating crucial findings about science and medicine,” she stated.
But, according to the Lancet, the international community must come together if we are to ever know for certain where COVID-19 began.
“In brief, there are many potential proximal origins of SARS-CoV-2, but there is still a shortfall of independent, scientific, and collaborative work on the issue,” the journal wrote. “The search for the origins of the virus requires unbiased, independent, transparent, and rigorous work by international teams in the fields of virology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, and other related fields, and supported by all governments.”
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