By Eric F. Coppolino
Lately I’ve been calling SARS-CoV-2 “Schrödinger’s Virus.” Those familiar with quantum folklore will recognize this as the example from Erwin Schrödinger, under one interpretation of quantum mechanics where the same hypothetical cat can be both alive and dead at the same time, due to a fundamental principle called quantum superposition.
The two states that seem to exist in superposition are: 1. There is no virus and 2. The virus came from a lab. I have been going over both possibilities throughout this crisis, accessing scientific and journalistic sources, as well as the available data, and there are strong arguments on both sides. Through the course of the year, you have heard both sides argued by guests on my program.
I Am Not Taking a Position
I am not proposing that these are the only two possibilities; each has several branches, and there are many other possibilities. For example, the lab origin theory splits in two: accidental release (a commonplace event) and bioterrorism (a topic about which the media and political community have been curiously silent, given all the attention that terrorism has received the past few decades).
I am saying these are the two dominant theories that challenge the official position of wholly accidental and natural origin — and I am presenting them specifically because they would seem to contradict one another. Holding the contradiction is a useful tool in investigative reporting and many other aspects of life. This is another way of saying having respect for the unknown and respecting that anything is possible.
I do not assert either position, though I’m following closely the abundant evidence on either side. I am here to tell you what they are, so that you may further your own consideration and analysis. I would also caution that simple dismissal is not an argument, such as a “fact check” that claims to prove something did not happen.
The “No Virus” Position
“No virus” advocates say correctly that the government admits that it has not isolated and purified any virus called SARS-CoV-2. What is found via PCR in both patients, healthy people and claimed isolation events are RNA fragments with a broad reach. Additionally, there is no one syndrome from claimed exposure. Even the “flu-like” versions of the disease do not match and are unremarkable from a medical standpoint; they could be symptoms of many different things.
Only 44 pneumonia patients were initially identified in Wuhan in December, and only 15 of those tested “positive.” The PCR primers were written in France with no patient samples available, only computer code. Nothing close to Koch’s Postulates have been met, and at this time there is no correlation between “cases” and claimed deaths (there was briefly, in March and April).
The “Lab Origin” Position
On the other side, the “lab origin” advocates say that the virus they see shows evidence of genetic editing. These include Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute and others. They state correctly that the U.S. and China were collaborating on “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (funded through Eco-Health Alliance) — located very close to the first claimed outbreak. They point out how frequently lab escapes and accidents happen. They give evidence of biological arms race.
On the issue of “natural origin” versus “lab origin,” there is no direct or circumstantial evidence of natural origin, there is much that argues against it, and there is strong circumstantial evidence of lab origin. To my mind, after careful thought, the weight of the evidence goes to lab origin, if presented with these two possibilities.
Most who are investigating this are taking one position or the other — “lab origin” or “no virus,” and sticking to it. This is a source of confusion for the public, and I have not seen this specific issue discussed anywhere else. I have found that arguing and researching from one side is not helpful, and that I need to hold both possibilities in mind at the same time, and consider every scenario and development from both positions.