A new pre-print study has concluded the virus that causes COVID-19 has a unique “fingerprint” indicating it originated in a laboratory rather than in nature.
Dr. Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, worked with researchers in the U.S. and Germany who studied the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence and compared it to previously discovered coronaviruses.
They detected “peculiar patterns” they concluded were the hallmark of a manufactured virus, describing it having a “synthetic fingerprint.”
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sachs, chairman of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, a task force that investigated the origins of COVID-19, has concluded after 22 months of study that SARS-CoV-2 probably was laboratory-generated and that the technology likely came from gain-of-function research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The “synthetic fingerprint” discovered in the new study led by Washburne, says Sachs in an article published by Children’s Health Defense, points to the work of Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina known for his NIH-funded gain-of-function research in cooperation with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Baric has developed a controversial “seamless ligation” technique designed to conceal evidence of human tampering in laboratory-created viruses. Baric nicknamed his invention the “no-see’m” method.
“It’s the artist that doesn’t sign his name to the painting; the virologist that doesn’t put his signature into the virus to let us know whether or not it is emerging naturally or whether it is produced in a laboratory,” said Sachs.
“All of it says, my God, there was really a big, very risky research agenda underway.”
Evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein called Baric’s technique is the “exact opposite of what you would do if your interest was public health.” Public health scientists would be marking their enhancements with red flags – not devising ways to hide them. The only reason you would want a concealer is to advance a sinister purpose – such as illegal bioweapons development – some mischief that the scientist didn’t want traceable back to his lab.”
Baric taught his technique to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s leading coronavirus researcher, Shi Zhengli, in 2016, CHD reported. In return, Baric received Chinese coronaviruses collected by Shi from bats in China’s Yunnan province.
‘If I am proven wrong I will change my mind’
In a post on Substack, Washburne reacted to criticism that his study was “very poorly controlled” and “cherry-picked.”
“The topic is personally relevant to every person capable of being infected by a virus or impacted by pandemic policies,” he wrote. “I invite people to prove us wrong and, if they do so, even if there are flaws in their work, I will not call them names or attack their credentials.
“I will celebrate their ingenuity and commitment to the Truth, and if I am proven wrong I will change my mind,” he promised.
Washburne said science “can save lives and revolutionize our civilization, but only if scientists and our broader society remain honest, curious, and open-minded.”
Professor Francois Balloux, a professor of computational biology at University College London, called the study “an important piece of work.”
“To me, it looks solid both conceptually and methodologically,” he wrote on Twitter. “I was given advance warning and was able to replicate the key findings. To the best of my knowledge, I confirm the reported patterns are genuine.”
Balloux said the “distribution of restriction sites in SARS-CoV-2 is highly atypical when compared to related viruses in circulation, and far more in line with previous lab-engineered coronaviruses.”
A critic of the study, Texas A&M University virologist Dr. Benjamin Neuman, has called the lab theory of the origin of COVID-19 “discredited.” The new study, he said, is “very poorly controlled, cherry-picked and making a big deal out of lumps and bumps that are of no significance to the virus.”
Critic was part of COVID-origin teleconference with Fauci
Another critic, Kristian Andersen, a virologist at Scripps Research in California, famously joined with three other virologists in a January 2020 email to Fauci stating they saw strong evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 was engineered in a lab, as WND reported. But after a teleconference the next day with Fauci to discuss the virologists’ conclusion, Andersen began dismissing the lab-leak possibility as among “crackpot theories” that “relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case.”
In April 2020, Fauci was asked by a reporter during a White House briefing if the research at the Wuhan lab might be responsible for the pandemic. Fauci insisted a “group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists” had concluded the virus was “totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”
The next day, Peter Daszak – the EcoHealth Alliance founder who received funding from Fauci’s agency to conduct research engineering coronaviruses – sent a thank you email to Fauci. Daszak thanked the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Disease director for “publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
“From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins,” Daszak wrote to Fauci on April 18, 2020.
The new study by Washburne, Andersen said, is “so deeply flawed that it wouldn’t pass kindergarten molecular biology.”
“The study is a clear example of motivated reasoning with a heavy dose of technobabble to make it sound legitimate – but it’s nothing more than poppycock dressed up as science,” said Andersen.
“In plain language — this is uninformed nonsense and it’s simply not worth engaging with.”
Among the studies cited by scientists who believe the virus had a natural origin is one published in Scientific Reports that showed a total of about 47,000 wild animals from 38 species were sold in four markets in Wuhan between May 2017 and November 2019. The researchers claimed they had evidence the the necessary conditions were in place for animal-to-human transmission.
However, they admitted that had no evidence that any of the animals had SARS-CoV-2.
In the new study, Washburne and his colleagues concluded it’s “extremely unlikely” that the “synthetic fingerprint” appeared “by random evolution,” finding similarities to many engineered coronavirus genomes.
Significantly, it differs from the closest relatives found in nature.
“Our findings strongly suggest a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV2.”