Tired repetition of COVID-19 'lab leak' theories is like flogging a dead horse
First Voice
Screenshot of the documentary "What Really Happened in Wuhan" on the website of Sky News Australia.

Screenshot of the documentary "What Really Happened in Wuhan" on the website of Sky News Australia.

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Several weeks ago, the long-awaited 90-day "Intelligence Review" into the origins of the COVID-19 as commissioned by the Biden administration came to a completion. But, to nobody's surprise, the report was met with a whimper from the mainstream media because it failed to satisfy the narrative that the virus had "leaked from a laboratory," as there was no serious evidence available to satisfy what has been at best a science-fiction conspiracy theory.

Case closed, right?
Not quite. Despite this, many outlets in the mainstream media have continued to project the false narrative based on sheer speculation that the origins of COVID-19 stem from an accident in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). One of these, pushed by Murdoch-owned Sky News Australia, included a documentary titled "What Really Happened in Wuhan" by Sharri Markson – again an attempt to make a "smoking gun" with deeply flawed evidence that the laboratory leak is real.

The problems with this video are abundant. First, it attempts to cite evidence of a cover-up from the WIV stemming from September 2019. However, four U.S. intelligence agencies in Biden's own review contradict this claim by acknowledging that Chinese officials had "no foreknowledge" of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

The video proceeds to claim that Huang Yanling, who was claimed to be a researcher at the WIV, is the so-called patient zero based on earlier claims that workers at the institute were reportedly sick around November 2019. It then makes the false claim she is "missing" and has never been heard of since.

An article from Health Analytics Asia debunks this misleading information, noting that she was a former student working at the institute completing her master's degree in 2015. She now lives elsewhere and never contracted the virus. This is why her information "disappeared" from the website.

An overview of Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 17, 2020. /CFP

An overview of Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 17, 2020. /CFP

The documentary proceeded to interview the former director of U.S. national intelligence John Ratcliffe, who claimed there was "intelligence" that there was something "wrong in Wuhan" in late 2019. This interview itself is bizarre: if the Trump administration truly had such evidence at a time whereby it was set on waging relentless hostility against China, why would it not have released it? And why would it have left the succeeding administration with nothing?

Ratcliffe proceeds to claim that the lockdown of Wuhan was "proof" of a lab leak, and if the virus was of a natural origin, China would have done nothing. Again, this is a bizarre argument that does not hold water. Lockdown measures were adopted across the world to curb the spread of the virus. This has nothing to make a fuss about.

The documentary also explores the ludicrous and baseless idea that China used the world military games in Wuhan to deliberately spread the virus as a "biological weapon" despite that there is a widespread scientific consensus, even amongst Biden's own intelligence review, that the virus was not man-made.

In addition to the contents of these theories, more credible scientific evidence has emerged in the past few weeks, which gave weight to the theory of the natural origins of COVID-19. In the neighboring country of Laos, researchers discovered that horseshoe bats in the country host viruses with similar genetic strains to the COVID-19 itself, becoming the closest found ancestor to it of date.

As quoted by the South China Morning Post, "the findings provide significant pushback against a theory that Sars-CoV-2 could have been genetically engineered."

In a nutshell, this is a documentary which lacks all credibility. It is floated on speculation, a staggering lack of scientific detail and even outright false claims which have since been discredited altogether.
This isn't journalism. It's outright misinformation. There is no serious basis for a lab leak because it is a conspiracy theory that is grounded ultimately in politics as opposed to any scientific preference. The same suspects are again and again flogging a dead horse, ultimately seeking to find something where there is nothing.

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