– “What are the commercial gains from making deadly viruses?”
Well consider the original story I heard of SARS-CoV-2 being a lab escape, which was this: researchers noticed that the 2019 novel coronavirus had a protein spike which resembled that of SARS, but no one was finding a particularly close match for its genetic sequence in nature. Then a closer match, 70%, was found in a patent for a vaccine against SARS, but the vaccine had been abandoned. Or consider the Foot and Mouth escape; the Foot and Mouth pathogen was being used, again in vaccine research, but it leaked from a broken pipe. There certainly is commercial gain in vaccine development.
I suppose what I’m saying is that I can’t dismiss those who hold such suspicions as conspiracy theorists. Some are extrapolating unreasonably to bioweapon stories, but there are obvious political motivations to encourage such rumours.
Conspiracy theory grows from concealment, distortion of information, complexity, odd bits of disinformation thrown in, and the simple common-sense understanding that there are always motives for deception. Since a consensus is developing I expect it’s true that SARS-CoV-2 arose in the wild bats, but it is too complex for me to check for myself; I’d need years of experience. Statements such as this in the Lancet actually make matters worse, because the signatories make it clear that propagation of the ‘rogue’ theory is causing their information supply to be threatened, ie. they have an ulterior motive to dismiss the lab origin theory, making it look like they’re closing ranks.
SA, we need to build the world anew, and transparency of information has to be a major part of that. Look at global warming denial. The media that we have just isn’t fit for purpose. There needs to be some transparent system of reporting based on tiers of competence and public accountability, so that lay people can see a clearly trustworthy information path all the way up to the specialist communities.