Dr Jennifer Cole, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, said:
“Whenever there is a new disease outbreak, be it AIDS, Ebola, Zika or now SARS-Cov2, there are always conspiracy theories about deliberate bioengineering or laboratory escapes, and a jump to apportion ‘blame’ for the disease. There is often particularly a push to point the finger of blame at actors with whom the accuser has existing tensions: political rivals, for example. Since the beginning of the outbreak, scientists have been very clear to explain the scientific reasons why the virus that causes COVID19 does not look to have had a laboratory origin, but is instead much more likely to be a very unfortunate but natural event. Articles in scientific publications such as Nature have explained this, as has a response by the Director of the US National Institutes of Health.