US Should Be Investigated In Covid Origin Probe, Chinese Expert Says
The Chinese epidemiologist pointed to studies that say covid may have been in the U.S. as early as December 2019. Separately, MERS-related covid is found in a Swedish bat study.
China Disease Expert Says COVID-19 Origins Probe Should Shift To U.S.
A senior Chinese epidemiologist said the United States should be the priority in the next phase of investigations into the origin of COVID-19 after a study showed the disease could have been circulating there as early as December 2019, state media said on Thursday. The study, published this week by the U.S. National Institutes for Health (NIH), showed that at least seven people in five U.S. states were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, weeks before the United States reported its first official cases. (6/17)
Biden Denies He's 'Old Friends' With China's Xi, Says World Questioning Beijing On COVID-19 Origin Probe
President Biden pushed back on the assertion that he and Chinese Xi Jinping were "old friends" at a press conference on Wednesday, arguing that the international community was questioning Beijing’s commitment to a transparent investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Biden on whether he'd pressure China following the president’s summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Biden has made frequent references to his long-standing relationship with Xi dating back to the Obama administration. (Barrabi, 6/16)
Trump On COVID Origins: 'I Believe It Was A Terrible Accident, But I Believe It Came From The Lab'
Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes the coronavirus pandemic is the result of a "terrible accident" during an exclusive interview on "Hannity." Addressing the latest developments in the Wuhan lab-leak theory, Trump told host Sean Hannity that while the pandemic was a "horrible" experience that claimed more than three million lives across the globe, he is fairly certain that it was accidental on China's part."I believe it was a terrible accident, but I believe it came from the lab," Trump said. (Halon, 6/17)
Wuhan Lab Leak Theory: Behind The Science And Origin Of Covid
Alina Chan isn't saying the coronavirus definitely leaked from a lab in China. What she is saying is what more scientists have grown comfortable discussing publicly: There's no clear evidence either way. "I know a lot of people want to have a smoking gun," said Chan, a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University who specializes in genetic engineering and has been vocal about the need to investigate the possibility of a lab leak. "It's more like breadcrumbs everywhere, and they're not always leading in one direction. It's like the whole floor is covered in breadcrumbs." (Chow, 6/16)
Nature-Based Or Lab Leak? Unraveling The Debate Over The Origins Of COVID-19
An accidental lab leak, or the dark side of mother nature? That fundamental question -- about the origins of a COVID-19 pandemic that has taken nearly 4 million lives -- has sparked a political firestorm in the U.S. and threatened the already fraught ties between Washington and Beijing. (Folmer, Salzman, Pezenik, Abdelmalek and Bruggeman, 6/14)
In related news —
Sequencing Study Uncovers MERS-Related COVID In Swiss Bats
Researchers have identified dozens of DNA and RNA viruses in stationary and migratory bat species in Switzerland, including a coronavirus related to the MERS-CoV behind Middle East respiratory syndrome. For a paper published in PLOS One on Wednesday, a team from the University of Zurich and the Bat Foundation Switzerland did DNA sequencing and RNA sequencing on fecal, stool, or organ tissue samples from some 7,000 bats spanning 18 species found at sites in Switzerland over several years. By comparing sequences in these samples to those from available databases, they tracked down representatives from more than three dozen viral families — a set that contained viruses in 16 viral families linked to infections in other vertebrate species. (6/16)