(Taiwan English News / Zhiwei Comprehensive Report) It has been more than three years since the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia (COVID-19), and the origin of the virus is still a mystery. Recently, French scientists accidentally discovered that among the genetic data uploaded by China in the global database, Wuhan The “raccoon dog” (canine animal) samples sold in the South China Seafood Wholesale Market actually contained COVID DNA. This new discovery has once again sparked a debate about whether the epidemic was transmitted from animals to humans or whether it was leaked from the laboratory. delete.
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The Associated Press reported that scientists from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently uploaded the genetic sequencing data collected at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan in early 2020 to the world’s largest public virus database, including hawker stalls specializing in wild animals. The raccoons sold tested positive for the COVID virus.
The strange thing is that the Chinese scientists deleted the relevant data shortly afterwards. Fortunately, the French biologists saved the data earlier and shared it with a group of scientists who studied the source of the virus. They believed that this was the theory that the virus jumped from animals to humans. Strong evidence is provided.
In China, the fur and meat of raccoon dogs have economic value, and animal meat markets are not uncommon in various places. In fact, as early as the outbreak of the epidemic, the Huanan Seafood Market, which advertised as having all kinds of wild game, was suspected of being a melting pot of viruses. However, the market was completely disinfected and “destroyed” after the incident, and the outside world has never been able to know the truth of the incident.
Because the coronavirus genes are very similar to bat coronaviruses, many scientists support the claim that COVID jumped to humans directly from bats or indirectly through intermediary animals such as pangolins, mink or raccoon dogs. However, although the virus has been detected in raccoon dogs, it cannot be concluded that it was transmitted to humans. China has always insisted that people brought the virus to the market.
World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized on the 17th that such information should have been presented three years ago. If China had provided the information earlier, it might have been able to solve the problem of who passed it on to whom. It was “accidentally” discovered by the outside world until today, and the immediate deletion made people feel that something was wrong.
In 2021, the WHO went to China to investigate the source of the virus, but due to lack of evidence and completely opaque information, the WHO was tied up and unable to reach a conclusion. The conclusion that year was that COVID was unlikely to have escaped from a laboratory. However, the WHO reversed the case the following year, stating that this possibility cannot be ruled out due to the inability to obtain key information.
It can also be seen from the WHO’s rebuttal that it is indeed difficult to investigate cases where all evidence has been annihilated. All kinds of arguments are mostly inferences, and there is no consensus. Last year, an investigation led by the Senate analyzed the clues of Chinese cables and pointed to the responsibility of the Wuhan laboratory. Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy also said that the virus should be caused by a virus leak from a Chinese laboratory. As for the truth? I’m afraid I’ll never know.
Three years ago, “raccoon dogs” in the seafood market in Wuhan were found to have COVID