SARS2 laboratory accident origin evidence

Summary

 Basically, SARS2 is a:
- bat coronavirus from S. China or Laos that can bind to human ACE2
- with a precisely integrated human-specific furin cleavage site at S1-S2
- and a WIV-typical type IIs restriction site pattern found in every synthetic WIV virus
- that was cultured on Vero/CHO cells
- and caused a pandemic in 2019
- in Wuhan, a major city more than 1000 km away from the bat habitats.

Chinese researchers planned to/did:
- collect hundreds of bat coronaviruses in S. China and Laos & predict which bind human ACE2
- precisely integrate human-specific furin cleavage sites at S1-S2 into 3-5 human ACE binding bat coronaviruses per year
- to make these synthetic viruses, they needed to introduce a distinct type IIs restriction site pattern seen in SARS2, but no natural relative
- and to use Vero cells to obtain infectious viruses, maybe CHO to test them
- do all this biosafety level 2, where leaks can happen any day (not even face masks mandated)
- starting 2018/19
- in Wuhan, more than 1000 km away from the bat habitats

Individual Evidence
Andrew Tuntable, Ph. D. (atuntable@gmail.com @atuntable) summed up the evidence for D.R.A.S.T.I.C as follows (reprint with permission, details and references: SARS-COV-2 Laboratory Leak Hypothesis):

  1. The bat coronavirus outbreak occurred in Wuhan, home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the world’s leading bat coronaviruses laboratory.  (Not proof, but certainly of interest.)
  2. Wuhan is over 1000 km from the relevant bats. The bats were not traded in the Wuhan wet markets. 
  3. The virus arose suddenly, fully functional, with no known human or animal precursors.  This is unlike SARS-1 and MERS.
  4. The virus is a chimera (a mixture) of two different viruses.  Chimera’s can arise naturally, but are also often engineered in laboratories.
  5. The virus also contains two different powerful adaptations at the same time, an effective spike protein and a furin cleavage site. This is why it is the most infectious coronavirus in 100 years.
  6. The WIV and the Eco Health Alliance proudly published their earlier results on genetically engineering chimeras based on coronaviruses.  They have also submitted grant proposals to add furin cleavage sites to coronaviruses.
  7. It was discovered that in 2013 six bat guano miners became ill with a SARS-like virus, samples of which were sent to the WIV.  This could have been the precursor to SARS-COV-2.  The WIV had said the miners had a fungal infection. 
  8. The WIV conducted coronavirus research at biosecurity levels 2 and 3, not high security BSL-4.  A US government report had raised concerns about their biosecurity practices in 2017.
  9. Lab leaks are not uncommon and have happened in many laboratories around the world.
  10. There is some evidence that workers at the WIV became ill in late 2019.
  11. More importantly, the Chinese government has removed data and has angrily thwarted any proper investigation.  They refuse to disclose whether the WIV was studying a SARS-COV-2 like virus. 
  12. There does not appear to have been any attempt to trace the contacts of the earliest cases by looking for long lived antibodies.
  13. The Chinese government has still not found any natural precursor after an extensive search testing over 80,000 samples.
  14. There are no credible rebuttals.


The weight of this evidence shows that the virus escaped from the WIV beyond reasonable doubt.

This is important because this technology has become much more accessible to laboratories around the world, often with minimal oversight.  Advances in technology could enable future genetically engineered viruses to be far more infectious and virulent than SARS-COV-2.

I would like to add 2 more pieces of evidence (see below)

Preprint online!

together with the amazing Alex Washburne and Antonius VanDongen I have finally published a preprint on this topic! it contains lot's of interesting calculations. as we decided to focus on more general statistical tests that require less bioengineering assumptions, the above mentioned chance for no manipulation is corrected to 1 in 100mio. Please read: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.10.18.512756v1
please let us know if you find flaws in the comments section!
 the most unusual finding is an accumulation of synonymous mutations in genome assembly sites previously used by WIV that becomes obvious when comparing related genomes. such accumulations of point mutations in tiny 6bp segments spread over the entire genome is not explained by recombination, which switches large genome fragments.

16: Direct SARS2 ancestors were grown on lab cell lines and sequenced at WIVs sequencing company

In DNA deep sequencing, some of the sequencing reads can leak into other experiments that are run in parallel. Hungarian researches screened DNA sequencing datasets published before the pandemic for traces of such SARS2 sequencing contamination. They found what are most likely direct ancestors of SARS2, sequenced at the WIVs sequencing company Sangon, together with reads from common viral laboratory cell lines like Vero, Huh7 or CHO. This is very strong evidence that the direct ancestors of SARS2 were neither from animal nor patient samples, but cultured in a lab that also used Sangon for sequencing. And again, someone tried to cover this up as these papers were rejected without any reason, and someone attempted to delete the sequencing files.