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COVID-19: Where did it come from?

with Nicholas Wade, science writer


Original premiere date: 30 July 2021

The hunt is on for the source of the coronavirus.

Was it a natural leap from animal to human via another host animal or was it a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? To date, we don’t know. And the answer is vitally important to a large swath of people and the Chinese and American governments.

Early in the pandemic, we were heavily influenced to believe it was a natural emergence. The reason we were nudged in that direction was statements from two significant scientific groups – statements that, according to science journalist Nicholas Wade, “were not at first examined as critically as they should have been.”

On February 19, 2020, The Lancet published a statement that said, “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

Wade says, “Contrary to that assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab-invoked accident, not conspiracy – it surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand. A defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists.”

We invited Nicholas Wade to discuss his investigative work to have a Conversation That Matters about what we do and don’t actually know about the source of COVID-19.

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