SARS-CoV-2 can show up in the lab, and we’ll have to talk about it

Foto: Reprodução/Visual Science

The case was hot for some time but two weeks ago The pot was opened by a group of scientists With suspect-proof credentials: We really need to investigate the origin of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the virus Kovid-19. The virus may have been created in the lab.

Calls for further investigation do not come from new evidence to support the theory of laboratory leakage, but mainly from evidence that the first investigation on the subject, on which animal advocates are based, has flaws that were not ignored can go.

In addition to never investigating the Chinese laboratory in which the virus first appeared, the researchers who produced the report received false information from the Chinese government, and relied on it to reach their conclusions. Perhaps the most important of them is that the virus is similar to SARS-CoV-2, which the sugar accepts to store was not in a laboratory with the highest level of protection.

For us, here, as media analysts, it is important to understand what constitutes a debate that should not have been banned. We need to discuss the veracity of the thesis or the possibility of its being true, but also the way the issue has been dealt with by the media, and how political polarization may have led to a hasty conclusion.

As immunologist Akiko Iwasaki told the New York Times, At Yale University, “There was initially a lot of pressure against raising the issue because it was linked to conspiracy theories and Trump supporters. There was little rational discussion on the subject”.

The main point of discussion at this point is that, although it is even more likely that the virus originated naturally through the development of other viruses present in animals, and then adapted to infect humans, nevertheless It is not possible to say confidence. The other side of the discussion is fine: It seems very coincidentally that a virus has mutated into animals and infected people in the exact city where the lab had a similar virus.

The scientific discussion, which I will not venture into, goes through aspects of the virus, the similarities between mutations previously observed, and how they are more common in viruses that are mutated in nature than viruses manipulated in laboratories. However, there are those who see almost the opposite: that SARS-CoV-2 has mutations that occur rarely in nature, and this would be evidence that the virus has “leaked” from a laboratory.

The fact is that the discussion is far from scientific certainty, but it has been banned for months, and that is why we are as far away from the answers as there were months ago. A good example of how problematic this can be in the case of the media: Facebook was removing posts that mentioned the possibility of the virus forming in the lab; Now it will start allowing them. The existence of a scientific discussion, however, does not change the fact that most of the positions that have been created on the subject and exist only to spread conspiracy theories, and almost all of them have clear party objectives. If the discussion had not been closed, we might have already separated the husk from the wheat, and blocked what should be blocked.


This column is far from being against the politicization of scientific issues, because everything that involves humanity is somehow political. The purpose here is to understand how each one’s preferences, political or not, can reinforce prejudice, how politicization can hinder an investigation, in fact, one should seek information without prejudice.

The case of SARS-CoV-2 is the most recent, but different biases have always existed in eugenic, racist, and anti-feminist theories, only to mention examples in which it is now widely recognized. This is not a matter of finger pointing and convicting: we will hardly come up with a name, an institution that can be blamed for the catastrophe, and even if that happens, the international political situation is unlikely to allow accountability is.

However, it is necessary to understand what happened and how to try to prevent it from happening again. There are thousands of laboratories on the planet that store different types of viruses, and today there is no strict monitoring of their storage and operation, even though there are international regulations for this. Not only is it not possible to ignore the possibility of accidents, but it is also not possible to ignore the hypothesis that governments or individuals want to use them with little pure intentions.

It is also worth remembering that Global warming is bringing the frozen virus back to life Thousands of years ago, and health protocols should also be devised to deal with them.


  • Today’s first tip is good for drummers in particular and anyone who likes percussion in general, and from Master Bruno Balan, with whom I’ve taken drum lessons: the album Primiras Viagens by the Muttrib group. In the words of their record label: “The MUTRIB tribe was born from the convergence of the multicultural interests of some of the greatest composers in the Sao Paulo music scene. Thinking of the cultural connections of the eastern Mediterranean as a major axis of world culture, which since ancient times Connected in a musical cauldron of great enthusiasm from the west and east, the Mutrib tribe (meaning “energy that emanates from the meeting musicians” in Turkey) celebrates this association with a repertoire that showcases musical cultures in the region. Gives importance to both equality and diversity.

    The sound is too much, and it is “broken”, it interferes with our perceptions of the rhythm, but I will not try to explain why I have to understand it first! Anyone who watched Pulp Fiction, however, would recognize the track “Mizzirlo”, which appears in Dick Dale’s recording film “Surf Music”. Go there:


* Caio Maia publishes on Gizmodo Brasil every week. The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the vehicle.

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About the author: Raven Weber

Musicaholic. Unapologetic alcohol maven. Social media expert. Award-winning coffee evangelist. Typical thinker.

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