No, the Conspiracy Kooks Were Not Right

Published at 06:33 on 27 May 2021

The kooks who claimed, contrary to the tiniest shred of evidence, the COVID-19 was deliberately created and released by the Chinese are now trying to crow about being right all along. They were not.

There is a significant difference between what the kooks were claiming, and what the official US government position is, namely: that the Wuhan Institute of Virology might have botched their safety protocols while researching what we now call the COVID-19 virus, thereby letting loose a new disease on the world.

Perhaps this is too subtle for the limited cranial capacity of your average conspiracy kook to comprehend, so let me lay it out the differences explicitly:

  1. The virus has absolutely no signature of being genetically engineered by humans. The conpiracy kook theory claims it was. The alternate hypothesis being put forth by the US Government (and myself, and many scientists) does not.
  2. The kooks are claiming a laboratory was involved. Us non-kooks are claiming one might have been, and that further investigation is needed to prove or disprove the alternate hypothesis.

It still might have crossed over from animals (probably bats) to humans in an unhygienic wet market. This is still a thoroughly plausible hypothesis. The thing is, a lab leak is also a plausible hypothesis.

Suspiciously, China has been uncooperative in the effort to investigate the alternate hypothesis. Such efforts have been quietly made over the past year, only to encounter stonewalling from the Chinese. So now an alternate tactic of public shaming and confrontation is being pursued.

This has actually been brewing for some time, with increasing numbers of epidemiologists getting increasingly vocal about how the alternate hypothesis really is plausible and has not been refuted. This culminated in an open letter in Science magazine advocating that the time has come to get pushy about thoroughly investigating the alternate hypothesis.

And here we are. But the kooks’ theory is still bullshit.

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