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Covid and 'Conspiracy: Brazil Prez refers to Chinese growth, US experts echo 'lab escape' theory

WebdeskMay 10, 2021, 12:27 PM IST

Covid and 'Conspiracy: Brazil Prez refers to Chinese growth, US experts echo 'lab escape' theory

New Delhi: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has raked up the issue of 'conspiracy angle' yet again and says the coronavirus may have been developed in a laboratory as a new form of warfare. His attack and needle of suspicion was not so veiled either. "Could we be fighting a new war? I wonder. Which country's GDP has grown the most?" -- he could not have been more candid. “The military knows all about chemical, biological and radiological warfare,” Bolsonaro has said. Earlier, the then US President Donald Trump, also known in diplomatic circles as a Bolsonaro ally, had raised similar issues during his stint in office. "Before Covid-19 ravaged the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded coronavirus research that included work at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The idea was to study the ability of such viruses to attack humans, but could a Fauci-funded experiment actually be the source of the deadly global infection?" - - says a piece in 'Wall Street Journal'. James Freeman in the article titled : 'China, Fauci and the Origins of Covid. Did the virus come from a Chinese lab funded by the celebrated doctor’s U.S. government institute?' - talks about the issue in certain details. In an exhaustive account of the viral possibilities published this week by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nicholas Wade argues that the Chinese lab is the most likely source of the world-wide agony, it says. Nicholas Wade is a science writer, editor, and author who has worked on the staff of Nature, Science, and, for many years, the New York Times. Wade also says: " As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped... it seems to me that proponents of lab escape can explain all the available facts about SARS2 considerably more easily than can those who favor natural emergence." (this article had come on May 7, 2021) And again, the good/bad old communists are in the game, says the 'Wall Street Journal' piece ---- "Left-leaning journalists who don’t like where this story is going may struggle to dismiss the author given his establishment credentials". It is worth mentioning that China was the only major economy that saw growth in 2020. It’s economy grew 2.3 percent over the course of the year—despite the enormous losses in the first quarter. Of course, the spin is a stringent national lockdown helped curb the spread of the virus. Thanks to Covid-inflicted deaths and tragedy, Donald Trump lost the presidential polls. The United States’ economy contracted 3.5 percent in 2020 and dropped at a 5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of that year. China’s economy grew 18.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to its National Bureau of Statistics. In fact, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had even pushed US spy agencies to "dig up evidence" linking the lab to the origin, reports say. On April 30, 2020, the Inspector General of the US Intelligence Community released a statement saying the intelligence community “concurs with the scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”. It was, however, added that the probe will continue to “rigorously examine emerging information” to determine whether the “outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.” China, however, had dismissed any such possibility. Its Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last year (2020) - “Regretfully, in addition to the raging coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the United States. This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China". He went further: “Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and concocted too many lies about China and plotted too many conspiracies". But questions are still being raised and doubts persist. “It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice,” says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety.

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