Make more clarity on the origins of this pandemic.“This is the appeal made by 18 scientists in a column entitled”Investigate the origins of covid-19 “ and published this May 14 in the journal Science.

These American, Canadian and Swiss scientists are relaunching the hypothesis of an accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to explain the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. For them, this proposition must be examined in the same way as the hypothesis of a “zoonotic spread “ natural, that is to say the passage of the virus from an animal species to the human species.

Three pivotal Twitter searches

“Chance” of the calendar, this column is published a few hours after an anonymous scientist disclosed on Twitter three academic works carried out between 2014 and 2019 at the WIV. These are two dissertations and a thesis, so far remained in the archives, but which contain important information.

They “question certain data taken for granted by the international scientific community on the number and nature of coronaviruses conserved by the WIV, on the experiments carried out on these viruses and even on the integrity of the viral genetic sequences published in recent months by the WIV. Wuhan research institution“, according to information from World.

A hypothesis swept away by the WHO

However, in the conclusions of its report on the origin of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) did not retain this hypothesis which it even judged “extremely unlikely“, when that of a zoonotic spread was considered”likely to very likely“.

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Two theories which have, according to the signatories of the forum, “not considered in a balanced way“. They particularly deplore that”only four of the 313 pages of the report and its appendices address the possibility of a laboratory accident“.

A hypothesis to “take seriously”

For these scientists, “it is necessary and possible to make more clarity on the origins of this pandemic“. It is now necessary”take seriously” this assumption until sufficient data is collected.

A proper investigation must be transparent, objective, data-driven, draw on broad expertise, be subject to independent oversight and be managed responsibly to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest.“continue the signatories.

But beware, even if proof of a laboratory accident was finally provided, it would not necessarily be an intentional leak, as several conspiracy theories had argued.

Anticipate future epidemics

Further research” thereby are “still needed to determine the origin of the pandemic“insist the signatories of the platform.

Research that will make it possible to understand the past but also to better anticipate the future, because “Knowing how covid-19 emerged is critical to developing global strategies to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks“further specify the scientists.