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Is COVID-19 from a Lab?

Last Updated: 14th May 2020

Is COVID-19 a bioweapon?

Some articles and online documentaries have suggested COVID-19 was a potential bio-weapon that escaped from a nearby lab. It is true there is a lab in Wuhan nearby. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest this is the case. Examination of the genome by labs around the world have produced no papers demonstrating COVID-19 is genetically created or manipulated. In fact, many papers have demonstrated the opposite.

There's also a logical argument against this theory. Coronaviruses are unlikely to receive any attention if the desire is to create a bioweapon. They are both too infectious and not deadly enough. Developing Coronaviruses as a weapon would likely leave someone with a weapon just as likely to cause both sides harm. Bioweapon exists, but investment in this area is focused on other approaches.

What about a lab experiment?

Another theory is the virus was made in a lab in Wuhan, not as a bio weapon, but as part of ongoing scientific research in Coronaviruses and testing on local animals. The theory suggests that because of not following appropriate safety protocols, the virus escaped and infected the local population.

There is currently no evidence to suggest this is what occurred. And a number of papers demonstrating the virus is not a product of laboratory testing.


The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2Full-genome evolutionary analysis of the novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) rejects the hypothesis of emergence as a result of a recent recombination eventA pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat originGenomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019The 2019‐new coronavirus epidemic: Evidence for virus evolutionReceptor Recognition by the Novel Coronavirus from Wuhan: An Analysis Based on Decade-Long Structural Studies of SARS CoronavirusCDC Situation Summary The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2Letter from the Presidents of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine in the United StatesStatement in support of the scientists and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19