06.07.2021 0

Most Americans now believe the coronavirus originated from a laboratory in China

The more we learn about the research at the Wuhan lab and America’s funding of it, the more questions we have. Ultimately, we need to know who to hold accountable for the events of the past 15 months.

By Catherine Mortensen

As the evidence mounts that the deadly Covid 19 virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Americans are increasingly believing the lab-leak theory.

Amid the calls for further scrutiny, the latest Economist/YouGov poll shows that Americans are doubtful of the World Health Organization’s assertion that the coronavirus originated through natural transmission from bats to humans.

Most Americans (58%) now put the origins of COVID-19 in a Chinese laboratory — up from 49% when YouGov first asked this question in May 2020. Two in five Democrats (43%) believe it’s probably true the virus had a laboratory beginning, a 10-point increase since last year (33%). Two-thirds of Independents (65%) now think the coronavirus originated from a laboratory in China, up 17 points from last year.

Three-quarters of Republicans (77%) agree that a laboratory in China was the origin of the virus responsible for COVID, something that an overwhelming majority have believed since last year (72%). Former President Trump has asserted since April 2020 that the coronavirus originated in a laboratory in China.

Only 13% agree with what has been the scientific community’s most common explanation for the origin of the virus: that it occurred naturally in the wild and mutated to a human infection.

Republicans are more certain about the virus’ origin, and more than a third of them (39%) describe its genesis in the most potentially frightening way: that it was created in a laboratory and released into the world on purpose. By comparison, just 12% of Democrats believe the same. About one in five Democrats (21%) believe the coronavirus emerged via natural mutation in the wild, something just 4% of Republicans stand behind.

According to an analysis piece by scientists Steven Quay and Richard Muller published this week in the Wall Street Journal, the Covid-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus.

TAKE ACTION

Urge Congress to adopt H.R. 834 and get to the bottom of the origins of the virus in China!

“The most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. In particular, consider the genetic fingerprint of CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the disease Covid-19.

“In gain-of-function research, a microbiologist can increase the lethality of a coronavirus enormously by splicing a special sequence into its genome at a prime location. Doing this leaves no trace of manipulation. But it alters the virus spike protein, rendering it easier for the virus to inject genetic material into the victim cell. Since 1992 there have been at least 11 separate experiments adding a special sequence to the same location. The end result has always been supercharged viruses.

“A genome is a blueprint for the factory of a cell to make proteins. The language is made up of three-letter “words,” 64 in total, that represent the 20 different amino acids. For example, there are six different words for the amino acid arginine, the one that is often used in supercharging viruses. Every cell has a different preference for which word it likes to use most.

“In the case of the gain-of-function supercharge, other sequences could have been spliced into this same site. Instead of a CGG-CGG (known as “double CGG”) that tells the protein factory to make two arginine amino acids in a row, you’ll obtain equal lethality by splicing any one of 35 of the other two-word combinations for double arginine. If the insertion takes place naturally, say through recombination, then one of those 35 other sequences is far more likely to appear; CGG is rarely used in the class of coronaviruses that can recombine with CoV-2.

“In fact, in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus.

“The presence of the double CGG sequence is strong evidence of gene splicing, and the absence of diversity in the public outbreak suggests gain-of-function acceleration. The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the virus was developed in a laboratory.”

Frustratingly, the more we learn about the research at the Wuhan lab and America’s funding of it, the more questions we have. Ultimately, we need to know who to hold accountable for the events of the past 15 months.

We can start by demanding that Congress establish an independent commission to thoroughly investigate all aspects of the origins of the virus and the subsequent cover-up.

To get answers, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) is proposing H.R. 834, which would create a bipartisan commission to look at the origins of the virus. In a Feb. 26 oped at the Washington Examiner, Posey argued, “To find these answers and to holistically address the numerous problems that the pandemic has revealed, Congress should establish a bipartisan commission to obtain a full account of the events of the pandemic and provide guidance for future actions. We must resolve to know with the greatest degree of certainty the origins of the virus, what steps could have been taken to slow its spread, lessons learned from lockdowns, developing effective therapies and vaccines, pandemic preparedness, and importantly, how we can best prevent such pandemics in the future.”

TAKE ACTION

Urge Congress to adopt H.R. 834 and get to the bottom of the origins of the virus in China!

Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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