Did coronavirus accidentally escape from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful. | The Fact Checker

Did coronavirus accidentally escape from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful. | The Fact Checker

-This is the Wuhan
seafood market. On January 1st,
it was shut down. Many of the early cluster
of confirmed cases had been in the market,
so officials feared that COVID-19 was linked
to trade and wild animals. It sold everything, from snakes
to birds to foxes and rabbits. But the viruses most similar
to the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19
are from bats that live in caves
a thousand miles away, but just because they’re similar
doesn’t mean they’re the same. -I just am baffled
about this story. -As of late April,
experts don’t have all the information we need
to say where the virus started. -If the Chinese know evidence, of course they’re not telling us
or anybody else. -With the absence of crucial
evidence comes many theories. One is that it came from nature, which scientists say
seems most likely. Another theory is that
it was a bioweapon, which scientists say
there’s zero evidence for. -I guess without putting
too fine of a point on it, it would fall in the realm
of conspiracy theory. -We’re going to focus
on one theory that both US intelligence
and lawmakers are examining, that the virus
accidentally escaped from a lab. At least two labs in Wuhan
research bat coronaviruses, the Wuhan Institute of Virology
and the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Centers for
Disease Control & Prevention. They have become the focal
point of suspicion, not only because
of the work that they do but because of their location. Both are close to the market. The Wuhan Institute of Virology
is about eight miles away, and the Wuhan branch
of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control &
Prevention is just 300 yards. Safety concerns at both labs
have come up in recent years. For instance, in this video,
we see one of the scientists from the Wuhan Centers
for Disease Controls & Prevention doing research
on coronaviruses in bats while not wearing
protective gear, but regardless, if researchers
are in the field or in the lab,
most bat coronaviruses scientists have identified
aren’t dangerous to humans. -They’re not considered
major potential pathogens because they just don’t
grow very well in other species
besides bats. -That’s why most labs
who study bat coronaviruses do not require the highest
level of safety protocols. The safety situation at the
other lab is a bit different. The Wuhan Institute of Virology
houses multiple labs, including one that has
the highest level of biological safety protocols,
biosafety level four. It is designed to contain some of the world’s
most dangerous viruses. -BL-4 is the ones you will see
in films with people in a suit and an air hose
attached behind them, and they’re completely enclosed
and protected. -When China first brought
the lab online, it was with the explicit goal
of studying coronaviruses. -China wanted to set up
its own laboratory after the SARS outbreak
to study SARS-relevant pathogens so that they could do that
on their own territory without having to rely
on the international system. -Shi Zhengli —
she’s one of the world’s experts on bat coronaviruses and is based at
the Wuhan Institute of Virology. -The work we do with
the Wuhan Institute of Virology is to look for viruses in bats that we think could be
the next pandemic. -That work and the higher safety
protocols have led to suspicion that Shi was working with more
dangerous bat coronaviruses, ones that could infect humans. -Recent reports have come out that there were concerns
being raised by US scientists and diplomats
about the level of safety, training, and general protocols
there and concern that this was the kind of thing
that could lead to leakage. -Two years ago,
American officials voiced a variety of concerns
about these labs, including the ominous warning that there was
a serious shortage of appropriately trained
technicians and investigators. -Without fail, every single
BSL-4 lab in the US gets some type
of safety violation, some type of, you know,
thing that they could do better, and that’s the purpose
of doing those inspections, is to make sure
that biosafety is as tight and secure
as it can possibly be. -But even in the most safe labs,
things go wrong. That same 2018 State Department
cable that described the possible safety issues also warned about the dangerous
nature of Shi’s research. They wrote, “Researches also
showed various SARS-like coronaviruses
can interact with ACE2, the human receptor identified
for SARS-coronavirus. This find strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses
from bats can be transmitted to humans
to cause SARS-like diseases.” Shi’s team reported this
in a 2017 paper, but that paper doesn’t show
these coronavirus samples were effective
at infecting humans. And the virus used
in that research was not the virus
that causes COVID-19. It’s the underlaying experiment
that has raised flags. Researchers at one point had
a live virus that could infect a human cell. Just weeks into the outbreak,
researchers from Shi’s lab found the virus
had a 96% similarity with a bat coronavirus
they had previously researched. -So they both come from,
you know, this same distant relative, same, like, great-great-great
virus-grandfather. -And though these two viruses
have diverged, that 4% change, it’s the part that makes
all of the difference to us. -The part of the virus
that binds to the receptor on human cells
for the SARS-Co-V-2, it’s very different
than the bat coronavirus, the part that allows the animal
virus to infect humans. Otherwise, it’s interesting, but it’s not gonna cause
any outbreaks in people. -That means this virus and other
currently known bat coronaviruses
could’ve picked up the features from just the right
intermediary animal, allowing it to be able
to jump to humans. -And really, what we won’t
be able to find out unless we can identify whether there is
an intermediate species. We have to actually see
the ancestor of SARS-Co-V-2 to know exactly what type
of adaptations it underwent in order to be able
to infect humans, the smoking pangolin
or the smoking whatever else. -Of course, the potential
of great-great-great virus-grandfather isn’t the only
bat coronavirus in Shi’s lab. Even Shi was initially concerned
that her lab could’ve caused the outbreak. But since then, she says she’s
ruled out the possibility. Shi, her team, and the Chinese
government have adamantly denied that it could’ve come
from this lab. -There’s no way this virus
came from us. -China’s been incredibly open, and I believe it’s because
it’s a scientific collaboration. And in China, they’re really
proud of their science. They do good work,
especially in virology. -The evidence that
a lab accident led to the release of the virus
that causes COVID-19 is circumstantial,
but speculation has heightened because of the actions
of Chinese officials. First, before the Chinese
government had even alerted the World Health Organization
to the growing epidemic, scientists were told to destroy
early samples of the virus, according to the Times. After the Chinese government
reported the virus to the WHO, officials quickly pointed
to the seafood market as the source of the virus
and shut it down. -The Chinese government
acknowledged it began in Wuhan and put out this story
of the wet market. It was a kind of unusual, specific pinning on the part
of the Chinese government, like not their general way
of operating. -But many of the first-known
COVID-19 cases were not traceable
to the Huanan Seafood Market. -The initial patient did not
have any link to the market. -The Chinese government reported that they had found samples
of the coronavirus in the western end of the market
that is known to house wildlife, but to confirm that,
scientists would need specimens from the animals in the market. -As of today,
as to my knowledge, and I look for this
every single day for 112 days, China has not divulged
any information about what animals they tested
from the market when the closed it, and, of course, what the results
of any of those tests were. -The only way to find an answer
to this mystery is with a sample that matches both the virus
and matches the first patients, which scientists
haven’t been able to find. Even if there was a perfect
match to the virus in one of these labs, without early patient samples,
there’s no way to be sure. The balance of scientific
evidence strongly suggests the conclusion that the new
coronavirus emerged from nature, be it in the Wuhan market
or somewhere else. Too many perfect coincidences
would’ve had to take place for it
to have escaped from a lab, but the Chinese government
has not been willing or able to provide information that would clarify
lingering questions about any possible role
played by the Wuhan labs. -Seems like such a remarkable
coincidence that you have an outbreak
of a coronavirus in theory from a bat
in the same city where there is this high level
BSL-4 laboratory where not only are there foreign
concerns about its safety, but there are, like,
Chinese articles about the safety protocols
not being sufficient. And obviously,
there’s no smoking gun. It’s all circumstantial,
but it’s pretty remarkable. And it’s the kind of thing
where it raises questions. -That is why
intelligence agencies are still exploring
the possibility, no matter how remote it may be,
and even then, it’s unclear when or if we will ever know
the origin story of this new virus
that is causing so much death and economic turmoil
around the globe.


100 thoughts on “Did coronavirus accidentally escape from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful. | The Fact Checker”

  • Audi.B Audi.B says:

    The clicking sound effect that plays every 2 seconds is ANNOYING AF!!! Who the f*ck edited this video? Thumbs DOWN from me 👎🏻

  • Franklin Franklinson says:

    This lady: they sold everything, like rabits, birds, and even foxes. Way to diminish the fact that they sold at at bat.

  • Franklin Franklinson says:

    That's how you know right there that she is sympathetic to China. Mentioning that they sold rabbit, foxes and birds, but not bats

  • Steven Ruisi says:

    You are the masters of fake news doing the bidding of your Communist masters. People are on to you and they are sick of your crap…

  • Its stupid that people say carona virus is from bats…..if that is true…then we should have had this virus 25 or 50 years ago…..they have been eating bats forever…jesus!!!!

  • I knew this was a pro Chinese propaganda piece when the one guy said that the Chinese were very open about what they knew.

  • Fake news, omitted the fact that the 96% shared DNA sequence between the virus found on infected human and that of the Wu Han lab, also share a 💯 significant protein mechanism to human infection. Bottom line if there r a jump species y do those to virus share a 💯 of that significant protein sequence. If mutated it should not have 💯 identical sequence. Fact check that, oh probably did but chose omission for your own narrative. Probably for the same reason as the Houston rockets of the NBA, n underlining the current administration. Therefore u r fake news.

  • you should do a fact check on other bio labs too. do a fact check on big pharma, FDA…. how people's health has been compromise for greed, power and control. How Big Business is trying to control diversity of world agriculture and food systems and enslave people. we know that this virus cannot be considered as naturally occurring, in evolutionary parlance, it took hundred of years for a virus to find a mechanism to jump to humans. Do a fact check how media is controlling people perceptions.

  • Justin Hillman says:

    In 70+ years America will declassify the coronavirus documents and it will show us and hong kong created this virus

  • The virus was exported to China by the American delegation at the Wuhan military games. Now it's returned back to sender.

  • Tony Montana says:

    No US should saw this stupid Wuhan ChinaFor 50,000 million so all the money goes to the family that lost their families

  • At 0:50, the 3 theories of its birth, you say it is #3 "Accidentally Escaped from a Lab." So, what were they developing in that Lab, a Bioweapon?????

    What does anyone funded by the Peoples Liberation Army work on doing?

  • Possibly, deadly Chinese Corona Virus has been developed in Wuhan Institute of Virology and it may have been developed as a biological weapons by Chinese regime, since, from the very beginning, Chinese regime are lying to the world about the transmission route of this Chinese Corona Virus and not disclosing anything about the origin of the virus and it has been seen that Chinese regime were busy in destroying evidence of the deadly Chinese Corona Virus. From the circumstantial evidence, conclusion may be drawn that deadly Chinese Corona Virus is a biological weapons which were being developed by Chinese regime as a weapon of mass destruction and China has secretly spread this deadly Chinese Corona Virus throughout the world knowingly.

  • Why do countries wish to make viruses stronger inside labs just to release them on the whole population of mankind?

  • Renen Baskerville says:

    It’s the mainstream media who’s suspiciously China-friendly. Go fcuk yourself, nobody believes in your bullshiterty anymore ..!.,

  • Yes, lets trust the chinese government those shady people who are evil human beings. That silenced doctors so they dont announce coronavirus. I hope, whoever ate that bat, or released that virus, I hope they experience pain like no other. Death is an easy way out.

  • What about your dishonest reporting? Why don't you talk about how China convinced the WHO to hold off on it's informing the world about the covid-19 spreading from China? One of the people that I work with here in Silicon Valley is from China he estimates that approximately 25,000 people died in his town. All I can say is if you believe a totalitarian dictatorship then clearly you have surrendered all hopes of impartial reporting.

  • By China refusing to disclose certain information vital for investigating the origin of the virus, should tell us everything. China IS currently earth's virus in human form.

  • Matthew Marr says:

    Sooooo….it's not a bioweapon if it was made in a lab? Awesome, don't need to hide all my weapons grade anthrax anymore.

  • The_Merciful Underdog says:

    One undisputed FACT. CCP hid the virus. Allowed Potentially infected people to leave the country effectively weaponizing Sooooo.. seems like BioWar to me

  • Yousuf AL-Khafaji says:

    SARS is a gas that destroy the respiratory system, and Corona virus is found in the bats that is impossible to transmit to human without modification. Why mixing the 2 in this video?
    When the SARS gas is spread in the air, it takes 90 days to dissipate.

  • Mohammed Imran says:

    What the heck have a room with the most dangerous virus in the world?? Why not destroy it why keep it…why the world doesnt find that suspicious or anything

  • How much money did the Chinese governement pay to the Washington Post for promoting your support to the communist regime? The World Health Organization Director Mr. Tedros received about 100 million dollars deposited in his account in Switzerland, Fauci also received money for financing and leading the process in a Wuhan Lab…and you, dear journalist? how much?

  • Most of the doctors and scientists and virologist telling us that covid19 is not manmade or came from labs, for them this in natural. But almost all the people without medical backround believed this was manmade and bio weapon, and believe in conspiracy theories. This people is loved by scammers because they are not smart. Peace

  • bulletsholes says:

    LMAO, the WAPO claiming to be a fact checker? You dumbasses wouldn't know what a fact is if it jumped up and bit your fat asses…

  • Someone Else says:

    So, fundamentally, there's no proof it came from a market .. that's just an assumption or outright lie shared by government and media.

  • Victor Enriquez says:

    Oh it came from that Wuhan lab alright, but it was no accident! & u can pit that conspiracy theory nonsense out the front door!!!!

  • Sweet Sunshine says:


  • यह संदिग्ध है कि क्या वाशिंगटन पोस्ट गंभीर पत्रकारिता करता है। जितना अधिक यह फैलता है, उतना ही राष्ट्रीय गिरावट में तेजी आती है। यह उन राजनेताओं और मीडिया के खिलाफ जांच करने का समय है जो इन तथ्यों की अनदेखी करते हैं क्योंकि वे अभी भी इस घृणित चीनी शासन के साथ भ्रातृभाव चाहते हैं।

  • Cyber_Stealth X says:

    It didnt just escape the lab and go straight to humans it went from the lab to the animals in the markets and then to humans. So both the food market theory and the lab theory I believe are both correct, as they can coexist

  • Brandon Johnson says:

    It's all but confirmed that the Wuhan institute of virology released the Covid-19 strain. I'm betting it was on purpose too, since they have a history of these things. Don't ever believe anything a communist country tells you. Also, disliked and reported for spam. Just go bankrupt already, you and the rest of the fake news.

  • This woman sound like she speak perfect English so she has to be a American…why was it a problem when the US found out China was trying to get info how to find a cure for this virus???

  • There is no coronavirus, anyone who got vaccinated back in school days have nothing to worry about. Hospitals have always been over run with viruses, if there truly was a super airborne virus right now. We'd all be dead, its simple commonsense to get vaccinated along with everyone else when offered. I got bcg, mmr and tetanus shots in my teens and never felt better!

    Only illness I have is Gout and High blood pressure.

  • Derald Madson says:

    “Too many perfect coincidences” Honey the market was yards away from one of those labs. Only one goof-up would have been required to start this. How do you say that?

  • Joseph Olorunesan says:

    This was a Biochemical Engineering nothing to do with Bats, we live in a Wicked World, i hope this Pandemic has been a Lesson to all the unbeleivers, its TIME you know that if you confess with your mouth THE LORD JESUS and believe in your HEART that GOD has raised him from the Dead, you will be SAVED, there is no other way but GOD, THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE, HEAVEN IS REAL AND HELL IS REAL.

  • The CoronaVirus did not start in China, just like the 1918 Spanish Flu, this new novel virus started in the United States. It was started by Ozzy Osbourne when he bit the head off a bat.

  • Sinisterman35 says:

    Now, asking idiots ie.. RED HATS to understand this simple possibility-is IMPOSSIBLE!
    The 'children' need a NIGHTLIGHT!
    SCIENCE isn't that. More of a flashlight.
    Bioweapon!? Released in your own GODDAMN country to infect..!?
    See how ludicrous!

  • From Forbes:
    Last year in the United States 180 thousand students graduated university with a STEM degree.
    Last year in China 5 million students graduated university with a STEM degree.
    You dont need to be a genius to see who is going to own the future.

  • Basically, in order to survive on YouTube and not be censored by big brother Google you have to post false, poorly reported news stories that corroborate with Google’s political agenda.

  • How easy could it have been to use CRISPR to just splice that 4% difference into the genetic sequence? Just because the Chinese government denies it doesn’t mean anything. How can we trust them? They covered it up from the start, they blame us, they lie to their own people and suppress information. Denying this kind of thing fits China’s communistic behavior.

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