There has been an increasing clamour in the recent weeks for a detailed international investigation into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 that wrecked havoc across the globe, affecting lives millions of lives and leading the world economy to a near standstill.
However, the initial response from China has been tepid, saying such a probe has no precedence or legal basis and investigations into such pandemics in the past have not provided any conclusive results.
China finally agreed to a probe after sixty-one countries asked for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the WHO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the animal source of coronavirus.
Putting across his case for a probe, Lawrence Sellin, a retired US Army Colonel, wrote in wionews.com, “The fact that no natural source of COVID-19 has been identified, that scientific evidence exists suggesting bioengineering and the clear ability to do so, all demand an expanded investigation as to its origin.”
Portraying a brief history of scientific investigation that eventually led to Covid-19, Sellin writes, “There is ongoing censorship, even in the scientific literature, to restrict publication of information contrary to the accepted narrative that COVID-19 is naturally-occurring.”
“According to the present conventional wisdom, a COVID-19 precursor, while circulating in a bat population mutated, acquiring the ability to infect humans, perhaps through an intermediate host, which was then transmitted to people either visiting or working in the Wuhan Seafood Market.
“That conclusion is not as scientifically solid as some would like you to believe.
“It was already known by the end of January 2020, that the initial patients hospitalized between December 1-10, 2019 had not visited the market and bats were not sold there,” he argues.
Sellin observes that most of the research effort focused on the cascade of events regulated by the protein part of the spike glycoprotein, or S-protein, which has two sections, S1, primarily responsible for binding to the human cell and S2, driving fusion with the cell membrane and entry.
“Sequence mutations occur frequently in coronaviruses, which can, gradually over time, produce a new receptor binding domain (RBD) structure capable of transmission between different animals or between animals and humans.
“That has been the consensus scientific opinion both for SARS and MERS, that it may have originated in bats, travelled through an intermediate animal host, civets and camels, respectively, and, along the way, acquired the ability to infect humans.
“If such a contention is scientifically valid, then it is initially logical to presume that COVID-19 “jumped” from animals to humans in a similar fashion.”
While referring to the Nature article, 'The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2' that is being widely cited to support the theory that COVID-19 is naturally-occurring, he points out that it also raises some not so widely cited doubts:
“Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to bat SARS-CoV-like coronaviruses, it is likely that bats serve as reservoir hosts for its progenitor. Although RaTG13, sampled from a Rhinolophus affinis bat, is about 96% identical overall to SARS-CoV-2, its spike diverges in the RBD, which suggests that it may not bind efficiently to human ACE2.”
“A news article published in the scientific journal Nature noted, that while it is important to find the origin of COVID-19 to prevent reinfection, it has been difficult pinpointing the source.
“It may indeed be impossible to identify a natural source, if Covid-19 was the product of bioengineering,” writes Sellin, expressing his confidence about the success of the investigation.