"Lab leaks happen. They aren’t the result of conspiracies:..a lab accident is an accident..; they happen all the time, in this country and in others, and people die from them."

"There is evidence that the lab in question, which studies bat coronaviruses, [was] conducting what is called 'gain of function' research, a dangerous innovation in which diseases are deliberately made more virulent."
"There are strong hints that some of the bat-virus research at the Wuhan lab was funded in part by the American national-medical establishment — which is to say, the lab-leak hypothesis doesn’t implicate China alone."
"There seem to have been astonishing conflicts of interest among the people assigned to get to the bottom of it all, and (as we know from Enron and the housing bubble) conflicts of interest are always what trip up..well-credentialed professionals"
"The news media, in its zealous policing of..boundaries of the permissible, insisted..lab-leak hypothesis was..false, and woe unto any..who dared disagree. Reporters gulped down whatever line was..most flattering to..experts they were quoting and then insisted..it was 100% right"

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More from @R_H_Ebright

3 Jun
"[F]rom..first reports of..outbreak in Wuhan, it took..a nanosecond..to consider..link to..Wuhan Institute of Virology. Only two other labs in..world, in Galveston, TX, and Chapel Hill, NC, were doing similar research..It’s not a dozen cities..It’s three"

"A small group within the State Department..had..acquired classified intelligence suggesting that three WIV researchers conducting gain-of-function experiments on coronavirus samples had fallen ill in the autumn of 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak was known to have started."
As officials at the meeting discussed what they could share with the public, they were advised by Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy..not to say anything that would point to the US government’s own role in gain-of-function research"
Read 6 tweets
2 Jun
David Relman" "[L]aboratory accidents involving disease-causing viruses are an unfortunate and not so infrequent reality — as has been amply demonstrated here in the United States."

"From 2009 to 2013,..there were 800 cases in U.S. labs in which workers received medical attention because of incidents involving 'select agent pathogens.'"
"And China has its own experience with lab leaks:..outbreak of SARS in 2004 that killed one person was traced to the National Institute of Virology Laboratory in Beijing."
Read 5 tweets
29 May
"Today, there are nearly 60 maximum containment facilities..planned, under construction, or in operation around the world..[H]alf have been established
in the last decade. This means potential risks are proliferating. "

BSL4 labs are booming
"Work with high-risk pathogens carries substantive safety risks to laboratory workers, the wider society, and the environment. A lab worker may be accidentally infected by a pathogen, causing disease in the individual, and potentially also in..the wider community."
"A pathogen may also be accidentally released directly into the environment through a lab containment breach, leading to potential spread of disease in the community."
Read 6 tweets
29 May
Fauci: "[C]onsider..hypothetical scenario:..gain-of-function experiment involving a virus with..pandemic potential is performed..by experienced investigators, but..information..is..used by another scientist who does not have..same training and facilities"

Fauci" "[W]hat if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?"
Fauci: “Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario–however remote–should the initial experiments have been performed in the first place..? I have said that the benefits of such experiments..outweigh the risks."
Read 4 tweets
28 May
"The search for answers about the origins of Covid-19 has focused global attention on a corner of science that previously operated far from public view. Known as 'gain of function', the research involves manipulating pathogens..to make them more lethal."

"Critics say the risk of the pathogens escaping and sparking a pandemic is too great"
"Irrespective of whether the Covid-19 pandemic was a result of a lab leak, the very fact that such an outcome is plausible means this is a category of research we should not have been funding or helping to carry out,"
Read 5 tweets
27 May
"Biden took an important *but limited* step Wednesday toward a genuine investigation into the origins of covid..He issued..order directing..intelligence agencies to 'redouble..efforts' to look into..two competing hypotheses about..source of the pandemic"

"But this represents just one aspect of a growing U.S. government and congressional effort to finally try — as best we can — to get to the bottom of how the pandemic started."
"Biden’s officials..insist Biden himself always believed the lab accident theory was plausible and needed investigation. Even so, there’s concern on Capitol Hill that the White House may use the new investigation to thwart several ongoing inquiries by lawmakers."
Read 6 tweets

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