2021 has arrived, and most of the first month has passed. However, all of us have not been able to contain the continued “arrogance” of the new crown virus.
Since the outbreak at the end of 2019, it has been asserted that the new crown virus originated in the laboratory, to prank new crown therapies (such as injection of disinfectant), etc., a large number of conspiracy theories and false information without scientific basis and logic have been spread around the world. The key is the speed of its spread No less than the speed at which the virus spreads.
In the past year or so, experts, researchers and doctors in the field of public health around the world have tried to dispel rumors in various ways. However, as new variants of the new coronavirus have appeared in the UK and South Africa, similar rumors have begun to surface on the Internet. Scientists say that misinformation about the new crown pandemic is as annoying as the virus itself.
Recently, an article published in the authoritative journal “Nature Medicine”, Professor Angela Rasmussen, a virologist from the Center for Global Health Science and Security of Georgetown University, USA, published an article entitled “On the origins of SARS-CoV-2 “The article again speaks for the origin of the new coronavirus. Emphasize that researchers in the field of public health should remind policymakers to make decisions based on evidence rather than politics, especially when it is essential to understand the origin of epidemics.
The full text is translated as follows, with slight additions and deletions:
In March last year, Professor Rasmussen and other fields of virology published articles on the origin of the new coronavirus in “Natural Medicine” (Related reading: American, British and Australian scientists “Natural Medicine” added a strong proof: the new coronavirus is a natural evolution product. Or there are two origins…), expounding the reason why the new coronavirus originated in nature. This is partly in response to the uproarious rumors and more and more unfounded speculations: Because the place where the virus broke out is in the same city as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the virus was leaked from the laboratory. This laboratory refers to the most advanced national virology laboratory for bat coronavirus research in my country and even in the world. Despite many doubts, there is no evidence to support those speculations.
On the contrary, before the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Chinese and foreign virologists have concluded through the study of known coronaviruses that more emerging coronaviruses will appear in the world in the future, and have given multiple warnings. (Related reading: Come out and mix it up, sooner or later! A new study has already predicted the occurrence of this pandemic) Moreover, all signs indicate that, like SARS and MERS, the new coronavirus is most likely to have evolved in the bat host. Until an unexplained spillover event spreads it to humans.
Unfortunately, these science-based facts have not been able to quell contradictory claims or even outright conspiracy theories. On the contrary, “viral information” spreads faster than the virus itself, and various versions of rumors or conspiracy theories emerge in endlessly: from the new crown virus leaked in the laboratory or deliberately designed by man, to the conspiracy of Bill Gates , And some people even involve 5G networks. These absurd views rely heavily on the “evidence” carefully selected by the rumors: from the withdrawn preprint research to the “secret diplomatic cable” about laboratory safety information from unknown sources, to the over-interpreted satellite and Cell phone data. In short, want to add crime, spread rumors for the sake of spreading rumors. The point is that none of these can prove the origin of the new coronavirus.
One of the most popular versions of “Laboratory Origins” relies on the fact that the new coronavirus is designed for certain functional studies. Previous studies have also been conducted with bat SARS-like coronaviruses to understand the risk of cross-species transmission. The irony is that these functional studies really provide valuable information about the biology of the new coronavirus, but they have been used by some people to make up rumors and conspiracy theories. Another point is that the research on the coronavirus itself has a very high risk, and related research will inevitably be subject to strict review and government supervision. Therefore, functional research on hard-to-obtain coronaviruses (such as bat SARS-like coronaviruses) cannot be conducted without supervision.
In addition, in the long river of human history, the occurrence of viruses and pathogens in a natural way has been clearly recorded, as far as swine flu, H7N9 avian flu, Marburg virus, SARS, MERS and Ebola virus, as far as 1889- In 1990, the OC43 coronavirus and the 1918 pandemic caused more than 1 million deaths worldwide. Most of the new viral pathogens that cause epidemics or even pandemics in humans have naturally emerged from the wild animal library. Therefore, the overwhelming conclusion is that the new coronavirus also entered the human body through a series of incidents between humans and animals.
What’s even more incredible is that the story of “Laboratory Origin” has turned into a political tool and started a new career, which has brought extensive and profound harmful effects. In February last year, US Republican anti-China Senator Tom Cotton shared his firm belief on Fox News that the virus is a biological and chemical weapon leaked in the laboratory. US Secretary of State Pompeo also strongly hinted that there are man-made causes for the new crown virus. The US President Trump himself, who does not believe in science, further confirmed this theory. In addition, the former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon led the National Security Council, an organization without clear scientific authorization, and even sponsored two preprinted articles claiming that the new crown virus was a biological and chemical weapon deliberately designed, and claimed The global international scientific community concealed the facts. Ironically, he has recently been sued for fraud.
Let’s take a look at these two preprints. The main author Yan Limeng (the University of Hong Kong has repeatedly stated that she is not a scholar engaged in virus research) personally used so-called “evidence” to attack scientists who struggle with rumors and conspiracy theories, including me. . After reading Yan Limeng’s “evidence”, Nakagawa Kusaka, a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at Tokai University in Japan, said, “What is the intention of writing such absurd things with great effort?”
But as a result, I was threatened by violence and sexual assault, which was the threat of exposing rumors and conspiracy theories, and unfortunately, I was in it. Although this is very unpleasant, what worries me more is the long-term impact of this type of misinformation on scientists around the world, and our ability to research emerging viruses with pandemic potential in the future.
In April 2020, Trump ordered the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to cancel a long-term collaboration between researchers from the Eco-Health Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We have witnessed how misinformation about the source of the virus can destroy this extremely important research. The NIH argued for the cancellation of the study that the study investigated the spillover effects of bat SARS-like coronaviruses and zoonotic diseases spreading in China and did not meet the NIH’s priority level. This is unbelievable. This work provides some of the most conclusive evidence that the new coronavirus is a naturally occurring pathogen, and serological investigations have shown that people living near bat colonies have antibodies to bat SARS-like coronaviruses.
NIH has since set impossible conditions for the restoration of funding to ensure that this research will never be restored. This set a shocking precedent: it caused huge and unnecessary setbacks in the effort to understand the new coronavirus, weakened trust in scientists, and undermined the importance of the pandemic and global long-term public health security. Fruitful international cooperation.
Public health is a cause that requires global participation in this field. Therefore, it is necessary for the whole society to cope with the evil behavior of using politics to attack science. Most importantly, the public must resist political interference in the necessary and objective scientific investigations. By continuously exposing misinformation and educating the public about the need for fair, scientific data-focused research on the origin of the virus, a wide range of beneficial effects can be produced.