‘It’s way beyond simple science’: Unraveling the hunt for Covid origins – podcast | News

One of the most compelling clues to the origins of a once-a-century pandemic has been uploaded unannounced — unnoticed for weeks — onto a scientific database. And then, just as suddenly, he disappeared from public view.

The genetic data, from swabs taken from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, in the weeks after Covid-19 first emerged, was only available online for a few weeks: just long enough for a scientist in Paris to stumble upon it while working from his couch on a Saturday afternoon earlier this month.

Florence Debarre recount Michael Safi how she came to understand the importance of data – and how it bolsters the theory that the most compelling case of Covid’s first leap from animals to humans is that it happened in the marketplace.

As Guardian Ian Sample explains, the Covid market theory has long been the favored explanation of scientists. But recently US government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Energy have made statements supporting the theory that Covid may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan. Joe Biden has ordered the declassification of relevant evidence that may support this theory – one initially, and still, endorsed by Donald Trump.

Raccoon dogs in a cage at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo

Photo: Chiaki Tsukumo/AP

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