22 August 2021

• Dr. Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading expert in respiratory diseases, says that he hopes China could reach herd immunity by the end of 2021 if 80 percent of its population are fully vaccinated, and that booster shots could strengthen protection. Source

• Wu Chung-I, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, described arguments about whether SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China  as “…a complete waste of time…We look like a bunch of school kids fighting in the playground. We’re not trying to solve anything.” He cited the Delta variant, noting that it is very unlikely that researchers could just tinker with the virus to add a few mutations and expect it to become highly efficient at infecting the human population, adding, “The virus has to go through a very long process to become extremely well-adapted to human conditions.”

Jonathan Stoye, a virologist from the Francis Crick Institute in Britain, says that questions about the virus’s possible escape from the Wuhan lab – and the gain of function research conducted there – remain, saying “Simply denying this possibility does not help resolve the question. A thorough lab audit conducted in the early stages of the investigation with a group experienced in such matters, and given the opportunity to examine all the lab records and hold discussions with all staff might well have solved this problem.” Source

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