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Cospiracy Theories: The Origin of Novel Coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the novel coronavirus came from animals and there’s no evidence of lab manipulation.

Some conspiracy theories claim COVID-19 was either engineered by humans or escaped a research lab in Wuhan. Scientists have already demonstrated there’s no similarity with the new virus and any other known virus that could prove the virus had been crafted in a lad.

Among the theories circulating: That SARS-CoV-2 arose naturally, after passing from bats to a secondary animal and then to humans; that it was deliberately engineered and then accidentally released by humans; or that researchers were studying a naturally-occurring virus that subsequently escaped from a high-security bio lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China. The head of the lab at WIV, for her part, has emphatically denied any link to the institute. 

April 18, the Vice Director of WIV Zhiming Yuan CGTN, the Chinese state broadcaster, said “there is no way this virus came from us,” NBC News reported. “We have a strict regulatory regime and code of conduct of research, so we are confident.”

All evidence dismisses the possibility of the new virus have been manmade. Now, WHO also says the virus originated in animals and there are no signs of lab manipulation.

“All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said during a news briefing in Geneva. “It is probable, likely, that the virus is of animal origin.”

Chaib added how the virus had jumped the species barrier to humans but there had “certainly” been an intermediate animal host. “It most likely has its ecological reservoir in bats but how the virus came from bats to humans is still to be seen and discovered.”

The WHO isn’t the only party ready to dismiss COVID-19 conspiracy theories. France said a few days ago that there’s no evidence that the novel coronavirus was created in a lab. “We would like to make it clear that there is to this day no factual evidence corroborating the information recently circulating in the United States press that establishes a link between the origins of COVID-19 and the work of the P4 laboratory of Wuhan, China,” said an official at President Emmanuel Macron’s office.