Title: Biosafety Now: Investigate the origin of SARS-CoV-2
Dear [Elected Representative],
I urge you to support an independent, comprehensive, and forensic investigation of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The origin of SARS-CoV-2 has not been established. One viable hypothesis is that SARS-CoV-2 emerged due to natural spillover from animals into humans. A second viable hypothesis is that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally introduced into the human population as a result of scientific research on coronaviruses. The available scientific data (the sequence of the viral genome, the properties of the virus, and the epidemiology of COVID-19) are consistent with both hypotheses. But other available information (including the high-risk coronavirus research performed from 2016 to 2019 by scientists in Wuhan as part of an international collaboration funded by the US government, the documented inadequacy of biosafety precautions used in the research, and the lack of transparency and cooperation of the researchers with investigators) provides ample reason for the US government to urgently and rigorously investigate the possibility of a research-related origin for SARS-CoV-2.
No comprehensive investigation of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has yet been conducted. A comprehensive investigation must pursue all threads of evidence available in the United States, Europe, Australia, China, and elsewhere. The investigation should use all the tools of forensic investigations, including subpoenas or search warrants and compelled testimony under oath. Wrongdoing identified during the investigation should result in accountability.
Understanding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for preventing future pandemics. High-risk research on potential pandemic pathogens continues to be performed in the US and funded by the US government. If research-related activities are found to have contributed to the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the results of this investigation would be invaluable for informing new regulations to ensure that future research activities in the US or funded by the US government do not endanger the public.
I look forward to hearing your opinion on this matter.