El Guapo wrote: ↑Wed May 26, 2021 4:34 pm
So do I understand you correctly that while it's theoretically possible that Chinese scientists intentionally created COVID in a lab as part of "gain of function" scientific research (not as a bioweapon), but that it's very unlikely based upon what we know? What is it that we know that makes this unlikely (vs. natural mutation in the wild)?
Also, in theory COVID could have arisen in the wild, been isolated in a lab for study, and then been accidentally released, right? Is that also unlikely?
Yes. I'll try to rank this based on my understanding. However, it's not a linear progression of likelihood from 1-5
(1) Chinese scientists created SARS-CoV-2 in a lab for nefarious purposes
(2) Chinese scientists found and then modified SARS-CoV-2 in a lab and released it for nefarious purposes
(3) Chinese scientists found and then modified SARS-CoV-2 and accidentally infected themselves
(4) Chinese scientists discovered SARS-CoV-2 in the wild and were researching at, then accidentally infected themselves
(5) SARS-CoV-2 randomly appeared in nature
#1-#3 are the scenarios being pushed to further some type of agenda against China. These are the least likely scenarios based on the virologists and zoonotic researchers I trust saying the genetic and physiological nature of SARS-CoV-2 does not suggest any type of human manipulation (in part or in whole).
#4 is certainly possible, thought it also seems unlikely, mainly because you'd expect scientists that accidentally infect themselves to not rush out and spread it. However, I guess if they they infected themselves and were all asymptomatic they could have inadvertently introduced it outside the lab; I'm not sure how you'd prove this.
#5 is still the most likely culprit just based on what we know about how viruses jump species all the time. It's also part of the reason research exists - to figure out if we can understand why they jump and then if they do, how could they be really bad for humans ("gain of function") - what type of mutations or changes are needed? How likely is that to happen? Would a jump result in a really deadly disease that isn't highly communicable? Or would it involve jumping and it's not deadly at all but spreads pretty easily? Could it then evolve into something more problematic? This is where Rand Paul is talking out of his ass (or mouth, same thing) and trying to come up with some nefarious motivation for research, completely oblivious to the idea that emerging infectious diseases is a whole field of study and something scientists from around the globe had been watching.