The question of where Covid-19 came from has become one of the most contentious and heated topics. Even the US intelligence community is split between those who believe it most likely emerged naturally from the wild and those who believe it came from a lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
This is a conversation about where the evidence points between Yuri Deigin of the DRASTIC collective that has been researching the lab, and Stuart Neil, a virology professor at Kings College in the UK.
There is a fair amount of technical detail in this conversation, which is being released unedited. To help the more casual viewer we have listed relevant timecodes to the more accessible parts of the dialogue.
03:30 - How has this debate been going so far?
05:14 - Yuri, how confident are you that it's a lab leak?
08:33 - Stuart, how confident are you that it's Zoonosis?
10:57 - Yuri, what are the key issues?
19:15 - Is the Furin Cleavage Site the 'smoking gun'?
27:07 - Stuart, what are the key issues for you?
27:23 - "No clear evidence of manipulation"
38:42 - "The design of the virus is implausible from an engineering perspective"
39:54 - Was the virus optimised for human transmission?
45:28 - Gain of Function experiments
51:15 - Is the DARPA grant a recipe for SARS-CoV-2?
54:26 - Are there any theories that can be discounted, eg: bioweapon?
01:00:14 - How much effort and manpower would it take to engineer?
01:04:30 - How would you engineer it?
01:10:42 - What do you think is the most likely scenario, Yuri?
01:13:10 - The livestock trade in China
01:15:19 - Why did the virus show up in Wuhan?
01:17:32 - What about the secrecy & cover up in China?
01:23:18 - The Mojiang mine & Drastic
01:27:38 - What about the virus RaTG13?
01:32:03 - How viruses are investigated in the lab
01:39:10 - What are the key questions that need to be resolved?
01:42:36 - Will we ever know the answer?
01:46:52 - Has anyone changed their mind?