Scientists denounce coronavirus Wuhan lab leak theory

(Xinhua) 12:29, July 08, 2021

NEW YORK, July 7 (Xinhua) -- A group of Western researchers have said recent studies only bolstered their belief that the coronavirus evolved naturally rather than originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

Though the lab leak theory has been widely discussed in some countries, this eminent group of scientists wrote in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, that there's still no evidence for it.

In February 2020, they dismissed the lab leak origin as a "conspiracy theory," and cited a string of academic papers to back up their belief that the coronavirus "originated in wildlife" before infecting millions.

"We believe the strongest clue from new, credible, and peer-reviewed evidence in the scientific literature is that the virus evolved in nature, while suggestions of a laboratory-leak source of the pandemic remain without scientifically validated evidence that directly supports it in peer-reviewed scientific journals," they wrote on Monday.

"Allegations and conjecture are of no help, as they do not facilitate access to information and objective assessment of the pathway from a bat virus to a human pathogen that might help to prevent a future pandemic. Recrimination has not, and will not, encourage international cooperation and collaboration," the experts wrote.

In the face of increased speculation, the scientists urged commentators and officials to take a step back and provide evidence if they want to push the lab leak theory, saying "It is time to turn down the heat of the rhetoric and turn up the light of scientific inquiry if we are to be better prepared to stem the next pandemic, whenever it comes and wherever it begins."

The group of scientists includes Charles H Calisher, Dennis Carroll, Rita Colwell, Ronald B Corley, Peter Daszak, etc.

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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