All CISAC News News June 20, 2021

Scientists battle over the ultimate origin story: Where did the coronavirus come from?

Stanford University microbiologist David A. Relman said the political climate last year made many scientists hesitant to express openness to the lab-leak idea. They did not want to align themselves with a theory closely associated with Trump and his allies, who referred to the coronavirus as “the China virus.”
Man smiling

Stanley Perlman, who has been studying coronaviruses for 39 years, got a nasty email June 4: “Dr. Frankenstein just wants more public money and wants to research things he shouldn’t be messing with. THANKS A LOT FOR CORONA LOSER.”

Perlman, a mild-mannered, grandfatherly virologist at the University of Iowa, didn’t know the author of the dyspeptic email and had nothing to do with the emergence of the coronavirus. But he had co-signed a letter to the Lancet in February 2020 saying SARS-CoV-2 was not a bioengineered virus and condemning “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

Read the rest at The Washington Post