New Analysis Suggests Wuhan Raccoon Dogs As Possible Origin Of COVID-19
A new analysis by an international group of researchers found evidence that COVID-19 originated from infected animals sold at a market in Wuhan, China.
The Details: A French scientist uncovered genetic data uploaded by Chinese researchers to the global virology database GISAID. The data suggested raccoon dogs sold at the market could have been carrying the virus; it disappeared from the database shortly after appearing, but the findings were presented to the World Health Organization on Tuesday.
For Context: The findings come just weeks after the U.S. Department of Energy changed its stance on COVID-19's origins to believing it likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan, rather than originating through natural transmission. The change prompted widespread media coverage and debate. The new analysis, which hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, was first reported on by The Atlantic (Left bias). Several of the analysis’ authors reached similar conclusions in a February 2022 analysis that was first shared with The New York Times (Lean left).
How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum weighed the claim differently, but most agreed it doesn't prove anything for certain. Washington Examiner (Lean Right) elevated comments from a Rutgers University lab director who said the claim “should not be taken at face value” because the data cited “has not been made available for analysis.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftThe Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic
For three years now, the debate over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic has ping-ponged between two big ideas: that SARS-CoV-2 spilled into human populations directly from a wild-animal source, and that the pathogen leaked from a lab. Through a swirl of data obfuscation by Chinese authorities and politicalization within the United States, and rampant speculation from all corners of the world, many scientists have stood by the notion that this outbreak—like most others—had purely natural roots. But that hypothesis has been missing a key piece of proof: genetic evidence from...
From the CenterNew study cites Wuhan raccoon dogs as possible origin of COVID-19
A new analysis of genetic information conducted by an international group of researchers has found evidence to suggest that COVID-19 originated from infected animals sold at a market in Wuhan, China.
As first reported by The Atlantic, French evolutionary biologist Florence Débarre recently uncovered genetic data from the global virology database GISAID. The data had been submitted by Chinese researchers who collected the genetic sequences from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been scrutinized as being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the name, thousands mammals were found to...
From the RightCOVID-19 animal origin scientists now point toward raccoon dogs as lab leak hypothesis grows
A group of scientists who have long pushed the theory that COVID-19 may have emerged from a Wuhan, China, wet market has now pushed fresh claims involving raccoon dogs that have not been peer-reviewed — after the Wuhan lab leak possibility gained credence in recent weeks.
On Thursday, both the Atlantic and the New York Times published stories contending that raccoon dogs sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan may have been an intermediary host for COVID-19 and that the fox-like mammals may have helped start the pandemic at the Chinese wet market.
The scientists did not publish their findings or have...