A top vaccine scientist in Australia told The Daily Mail in an interview that no one can rule the possibility that the coronavirus leaked out of a lab in China due to various scientific factors that, according to him, are “not typical of normal” animal to human infections.
The news comes as 122 nations want an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which spread from an epicenter in Wuhan, China, late last year.
The Daily Mail reported:
A team of scientists has produced evidence that the pandemic virus is ‘uniquely adapted to infect humans’, raising fresh questions over whether its origins were natural or could have occurred in a laboratory.
Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, a top vaccine researcher who headed the Australian team, said the virus was ‘not typical of a normal zoonotic [animal to human] infection’ since it appeared with the ‘exceptional’ ability to enter human bodies from day one.
He said the virus should have emerged from an animal through ‘a freak event of nature’ but the possibility that it had leaked from a laboratory could not be ruled out.
Petrovsky is a professor of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide and has reportedly developed numerous vaccines and founded a company that is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Health “to develop novel vaccine technologies.”
The Daily Mail added:
He told The Mail on Sunday that new viruses crossing over from animals normally strengthen as they adapt to human hosts, but for unexplained reasons, this new coronavirus seems perfectly adapted to infect humans without the need to evolve.
He pointed to the ‘coincidence’ that the most closely related known viruses were being studied in a laboratory in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic erupted, and insisted that the possibility of a leak, however remote, should not be ignored in the search for its origin.
“The implications may not be good for scientists or global politics, but just because the answers might cause problems, we can’t run away from them,” Petrovsky said. “There is currently no evidence of a leak but enough circumstantial data to concern us. It remains a possibility until it is ruled out.”
“This is either a remarkable coincidence or a sign of human intervention. It is possible the virus was a fluke event and it turns out humans were the perfect host,” Petrovsky continued. “But we don’t have evidence for this because no one has found this virus in an intermediate host animal yet. No one can say a laboratory leak is not a possibility.”
Experts, including U.S. intelligence officials, have cautioned that there is no evidence that the coronavirus was genetically modified or engineered in a lab, but that does not mean that it could not have escaped a lab that was doing legitimate scientific research.
Most of the U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly believe that the coronavirus leaked out of the Wuhan lab, but they say it was a mistake and that it was not intentional. U.S. officials sounded the alarm about the Wuhan lab in 2018 over safety concerns.
A U.S. official told Fox News that this was potentially the “costliest government cover-up of all time.”
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