Wuhan lab received COVID-19 from miners in 2012, scientists say

“Our theory of the origin of the pandemic is basically the only coherent one that exists,” said Dr. Jonathan Latham.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Scientists at the non-profit Bioscience Resource Project in Ithaca, New York, have discovered that SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, may have first appeared in a handful of Chinese miners in 2012.

“Our theory of the origin of the pandemic is basically the only coherent one that exists,” Dr. Jonathan Latham said in a Facebook post on August 10.

Dr. Latham and Dr. Allison Wilson, co-founders of the Bioscience Resource Project, published their findings on their website, Independent Science News, on July 15 in an article titled, “A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“No one has found any significant flaws in it since we published it on July 15th,” said Latham.

“Our proposal is that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, wo got it from Kunming Medical University,” he said.

“They in turn obtained it from tissues belonging to six miners who fell ill in 2012 with a mystery coronavirus infection that caused COVID-like symptoms.”

The researchers point out that the known viral genome sequence most closely related to SARS-CoV-2 is RaTG13, which was collected from the Mojiang mine in 2013 by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In April 2012, six workers in that mine, which is located about 1,000 km from Wuhan, fell ill from a mystery illness while removing bat feces. Three of the six subsequently died.

Through the translation of a Master’s thesis written in Chinese, Latham and Wilson discovered that the miners’ symptoms very closely resembled those of COVID-19.

The Master’s thesis concluded that “the unknown virus lead to severe pneumonia could be: The SARS-like-CoV from the Chinese rufous horseshoe bat.”

Samples taken from the miners were later sent to the lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from which the researchers propose that it escaped in 2019.

Two of the miners were ill for over four months, which may have provided the virus with a unique opportunity to evolve and adapt to a human host.

“It is a well-established principle that viruses that jump species undergo accelerated evolutionary change in their new host,” said Latham and Wilson.

However, Sars-CoV-2 has “remained functionally unchanged or virtually so” since the pandemic began.

“That is to say, its evolutionary leap to humans was completed before the 2019 pandemic began,” the researchers said.

Latham and Wilson are calling for “an independent and transparent investigation” of the Wuhan lab.

“The scientific establishment has labeled the lab escape theory a ‘rumor,’ an ‘unverified theory,’ and a ‘conspiracy’ when its proper name is a hypothesis,” they said.

“By taking this stance, the scientific establishment has given the unambiguous message that scientists who take the possibility of a lab origin seriously are jeopardizing their careers,” said Latham and Wilson.