Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus
by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD
Synopsis: Wuhan, China, is a place that no one predicted a natural coronavirus pandemic would begin. Nevertheless, the numerical improbability of a natural coronavirus pandemic originating within commuting distance of a major coronavirus laboratory has, until now, never been properly calculated. But there is also another coincidence that defenders of a zoonotic origin for the COVID-19 pandemic need to account for. There are numerous coronavirus species. Any one of these might theoretically have caused a pandemic. Yet the actual pandemic virus belongs to the same species that was also the near exclusive focus of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The magnitude of these two coincidences, we propose, explains why a natural zoonotic origin has not been found. Indeed, it implies that some variant of a laboratory escape is the only realistic possibility.