SARS-2 in Italy in August 2019? Very unlikely.

Published: November 18, 2020

Some media have reported about an Italian study claiming to have found “SARS-CoV-2 antibodies” in Italian blood donations as early as September 2019. In reality, the study only found antibodies cross-reactive to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain, and it has been known for months that these may be due to seasonal common cold coronaviruses.

According to a leaked Chinese investigation report, the first suspected covid-19 patients were admitted to Wuhan hospitals in late September and early October of 2019. This coincides with a preceding inspection and review of virus samples at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in September 2019. The WIV was storing and studying the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2. On 12 September 2019, the WIV deleted its cross-species viral pathogen database.

Researcher Gilles Demaneuf has recently described in detail three SARS-1 lab escapes in Chinese and Taiwanese P3 and P4 high-security labs. Nevertheless, the Lancet Covid-19 Commission chose Peter Daszak to lead the SARS-2 virus origin investigation. Daszak is the president of “EcoHealth Alliance”, a US Pentagon contractor which collaborated with the WIV on SARS virus research.

See also: On the origin of the new coronavirus →

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