Alina Chan er blant forskerne som var tidligst ute og sa at koronaviruset stammet fra et laboratorium og ikke hadde oppstått i naturen. Hun sier det ikke er kommet frem noe som styrker teorien om at viruset utviklet seg hos dyr.

In the coming year, it is possible that evidence will finally emerge proving that experiments to soup-up coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) led to the accidental release of Covid. ‘Right now it’s not safe for people who know about the origin of the pandemic to come forward,’ she told MPs at a session of the Science and Technology Select Committee in 2021. ‘But we live in an era where there is so much information being stored that it will eventually come out.’

Viruset virket ferdig utviklet for å smitte mellom mennesker. Kina påsto at det kom fra dyremarkedet i Wuhan, men klarte aldri å føre bevis for påstanden, selv om mediene var Beijings mikrofonstativ.

She first suspected a leak in March 2020 after realising nobody had found any infected animals at the Wuhan market where China claims the pandemic began. At that time it was impossible to get most scientists to even consider a non-natural origin, with many suggesting that it was racist to even ask the question. Dr Chan wrote an analysis arguing it was strange that the virus was already ‘pre-adapted’ to humans, and suggested it could have evolved in experiments in humanised mice infected with bat viruses. In 2021 she co-authored Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19 alongside science writer Matt Ridley, a book The Wall Street Journal called ‘perhaps the most comprehensive case for the lab-leak theory currently available’.

Det er kjent at Wuhan-laboratoriet stengte ned og foretok en omfattende renovering høsten 2019. Hvorfor gjorde de det?

‘It’s important to give the benefit of the doubt,’ she recently wrote on Twitter. ‘However if a suspect wipes their phone record and online search history, deep cleans their apartments, discards their gun collection and won’t tell you where they were at the time of the crime, I think it’s reasonable to ask questions.’

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