Table of Contents
Zoonotic Origins Hypothesis
Since the start of the pandemic, authorities have primarily promoted a origins theory of zoonotic transfer from an animal host to humans. A group of researchers going by the name D.R.A.S.T.I.C. has sought to counter what they consider a propaganda campaign by government, military, and industry to make it appear that the origins of SARS-CoV-2 are zoonotic.
SARS-CoV-2 is most highly similar to coronaviruses that have been found in bats.
The RaTG13 betacoronavirus is the most highly similar coronavirus to SARS-CoV-2, sharing 98.7% identical mitochondrial rRNA, but was supposedly generated from a bat fecal swab, which strikes some scientists as unlikely since metagenomic analysis shows a small 10.3% bacterial rRNA in the dataset.1)
More recently, close coronavirus relatives to SARS-CoV-2 have been found in bats in Laos.2) Some scientists claim this bolsters to the zoonotic origins theory while giving no answers to the numerous critiques of that theory.3)
Conflicts of Interest
Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 origins debate, a great deal of information has surfaced regarding what at least stand out as conflicts of interest, if not outright corruption, among those defending theories of natural origins. At least $50 million in NIAID funding went to scientists instrumental in defending the natural origins hypothesis.4)
On July 17, 2021, The Lancet published an opinion piece by a group of authors that included Peter Daszak and Christian Drosten entitled “Science, not speculation, is essential to determine how SARS-CoV-2 reached humans”.6)
- July 25, 2020 - Poudel et al: Animal coronaviruses and coronavirus disease 2019: Lesson for One Health approach.7)