Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
THE WUHAN INSTITUTE OF VIROLOGY IS SAID TO BE THE ONLY LABORATORY IN CHINA CAPABLE OF WORKING WITH DEADLY VIRUSES. iS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE CORONAVIRUS CONTAGION ORIGINATED FROM THERE? IF NOT, WHAT IS YOUR EXPLANATION?
Most scientists are refuting the notion that COVID-19 originated in a lab. However, despite what they say publicly, evidence suggests an artificial origin is a distinct possibility.
What is least suspected and never discussed in the msm is the fact that there has been extensive collaboration between the Wuhan lab and the US. This would have been due to the fact that Chinese mammals, notably bats, are known to be a natural source of various SARS viruses and virologists would naturally be interested in Chinese-US collaborative research.
It has been reported, but later refuted, that the NIH granted Wuhan Institute of Virology $3.7 million for research on coronaviruses. While this claim may be false, Shi Zhengli, a virologist who directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), has co-authored a paper, together with Dr. Ralph Baric, of the University of N. Carolina, a paper on a SARS-like virus.
THE FOLLOWING CLAIM HAS SINCE BEEN REFUTED:
It was recently reported that the Wuhan Institute of Virology received a $3.7 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health to study coronaviruses.) [However, this claim has since been refuted]
The following source shows collaboration between Shi Zhengli, a top researcher at the Wuhan lab, and Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina.
“A 2015 paper in Nature Medicine co-authored by Shi [Shi Zhengli, also known as Bat Woman for her studies on bats] and Ralph Baric, a leading expert on coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina in the U.S., foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. It described a SARS-like virus in bats that had the potential to jump directly to humans and resisted treatments used against SARS-like virus in bats that can jump from animal to human.”
The following source indicates that Shi and Baric collaborated on gain-of-function experiments on viruses. A gain-of-function study involves the actual creation of a new, potentially more dangerous species than any found in nature. Such studies have been banned by a moratorium imposed by the US NIH but, as we see below, this moratorium was lifted in 2017. Such a gain-of-function study could be the origin of a novel virus such as COVID-19, which, theoretically, could have been accidentally leaked outside the lab. Experts familiar with the Wuhan lab have affirmed that such a leak would have been unlikely due to the extreme restrictions imposed on a level 4 lab. However, we need to remember that, given the international collaboration described here, scientists in both countries would be loath to admit to the actual creation of a virus that has wrought havoc on the world’s economy and killed a significant number of people. Therefore the reader is at liberty to harbour whatever suspicions may occur to him on examining this evidence, regardless of the foregone conclusions promulgated in the press, which, unfortunately, is subject to political pressures in both the US and China.
In 2014, Shi Zhengli collaborated on additional gain-of-function experiments led by Ralph S. Baric of the University of North Carolina, which showed that two critical mutations that the MERS coronavirus possesses allow it to bind to the human ACE2 receptor, and that SARS had the potential to re-emerge from coronaviruses circulating in bat populations in the wild. In 2014, the US National Institutes of Health placed a moratorium on SARS, MERS, and influenza gain-of-function studies, due to concerns about the risks vs. benefits of such research, lifting this moratorium in 2017 after the creation of a new regulatory framework.