Claims that the virus SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a laboratory haven’t been substantiated by evidence. The virus’ genome and evolutionary trajectory are consistent with those of naturally-occurring viruses. Based on the scientific evidence so far, the consensus held by experts is that the virus most likely emerged naturally, by evolving in animals before later jumping to humans (zoonosis).
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Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is a mechanism that occurs when antibodies can’t neutralize a virus but instead increase its ability to infect cells, making the disease worse. While ADE was a concern during COVID-19 vaccine development, previous knowledge allowed researchers to minimize this risk from early stages. COVID-19 vaccines haven’t shown signs of causing more severe disease in animal studies, clinical trials, nor vaccination roll-out. On the contrary, all FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe disease.
COVID-19 is a real pandemic that has caused more than 545,000 excess deaths in the U.S. as of 17 June 2021. PCR tests are a very reliable tool to monitor the spread of the virus because they are highly specific for SARS-CoV-2 and detect tiny amounts of virus in infected individuals. Although no tests are 100% accurate, most positive COVID-19 PCR test results are true positives.
There is no evidence supporting the claim by Yan et al.g that genetic sequences of several coronaviruses were fabricated to support the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 arose naturally. The presence of highly similar or identical gene and protein sequences are common among organisms that are evolutionarily related to each other. Therefore, it is expected that members of the coronavirus family share similar or identical genetic or protein features. Scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that the virus arose naturally in wildlife before it crossed over to humans.
Although the exact origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains unknown, previous claims that the virus contained artificial elements or that it had been patented were debunked. The virus most likely originated in nature, probably in bats, according to the genetic similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and other animal coronaviruses. Dr. Yan claims to prove that the SARS-COV-2 virus originated in a lab, but a careful analysis of her pre-print actually shows this claim is unsubstantiated.