We have featured the work of science writer Matt Ridley on several occasions over the years. Now he is the author (with Alina Chan) of the new book Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19. Brendan O’Neill has recorded a podcast with Ridley to discuss how the Covid-19 virus might have leaked from a lab in Wuhan and how scientists tried to suppress the lab-leak origin theory. Spiked has posted the podcast here. I have embedded it below.

The New York Times continues to flog the alleged natural origin of the plague. Most recently, the Times has promoted “new research” pointing to the live animal market in Wuhan as the origin: “Analyzing a wide range of data, including virus genes, maps of market stalls and the social media activity of early Covid-19 patients across Wuhan, the scientists concluded that the coronavirus was very likely present in live mammals sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in late 2019 and suggested that the virus spilled over into people working or shopping there on two separate occasions.” However, “some gaps” in the evidence still remain. “The new [unpublished] papers did not, for example, identify an animal at the market that spread the virus to humans.”

Ridley recounts the case supporting the lab-leak theory. He also comments on the reversion of science to what he calls a cult. O’Neill and Ridley also discuss the suppression of the lab-leak theory with cameos by Dr. Fauci, Facebook and CNN. Raising the lab-leak theory early on, Ridley notes, Senator Cotton had to be shouted down.

The case recounted by Ridley in the podcast circles around the circumstantial evidence that belies the theory of natural origin. China will never open the doors to a definitive determination. The Chinese Communist Party must know the answer to the question, yet it carefully guards against disclosure of its knowledge or the related evidence under its control. For some reason or other, that evidence is treated as a state secret.

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