Despite backing away from a quote in which he referred to evidence for the lab-leak theory of COVID-19 as “the smoking gun,” Nobel Prize-winning biologist David Baltimore remains convinced that the explanation remains viable. In an interview with the California Institute of Technology, reprinte in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Baltimore says:
Biologists have seen what evolution can create: the whole natural world around us. We believe that evolution can do anything. But the fact that evolution might have been able to generate SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t mean that that’s how it came about. I think we very much need to find out what was happening in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I think that we can’t say for sure yet whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus came from natural origins or if it was genetically manipulated somehow.
- An argument for why the lab-leak theory of COVID’s origin remains unlikely (June 11)
- Why it matters: Tracking the media’s dismissal of the Wuhan lab theory (GBH News, June 2)