The following information is from research done by Nicholas Wade. He's written for Nature, Science, and NYT.
The United States' NIH and NIAID funded gain-of-function coronavirus research in China. The purpose of such research is to get ahead of a possible pandemic by genetically engineering viruses. By the time a virus naturally evolved, researchers would have already created the virus and would know how to cure it (with a vaccine).
The research was done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as shown through grants from NIH and NIAID (public record). The researchers behind it, along with virologists around the globe, acknowledged the risks associated with creating dangerous pathogens.
Among all other theories of COVID's origin, the lab leak is most likely. Here is why:
Lab leaks happen often: For example, the smallpox virus escaped from labs in England multiple times in the 60's and 70's. There were three deaths and 80 cases.
- SARS1 leaked from labs in Singapore, Taiwan, and China (four times).
- There's documentation of many other notable viruses leaking from labs here.
Wuhan virology lab was not safe: The coronavirus research in Wuhan was done on the second safety level, out of four, with four being the safest. Gain-of-function research is usually done at a higher safety level. At level two, a dangerous virus could easily escape and scientists knew this. Why do research at an unsafe level? The science isn't bogged down by tedious safety precautions.
Natural emergence is unlikely
- No traces in the environment: Scientists could track SARS1 and MERS origins back to the environment. Evidence for SARS1 was found in four months. MERS in five. After 15 months, there's still no sufficient environmental evidence of natural emergence for COVID-19.
- Weak evidence for natural evolution: Researchers found that COVID-19 was pre-adapted to human cells from beginning (unlike SARS1 and MERS) and didn't see markers of natural evolution.
- Unique characteristics: SARS2 (COVID-19) has a a furin-cleavage site; a part of the virus's anatomy that greatly increases infectivity. Of similar SARS viruses, COVID-19 is the only one that has it. Natural evolution is a less likely explanation of its origin. Researchers claim manual insertion by researchers is most likely.
Wuhan researchers could have been patient zeros: Three researchers working at the Wuhan Lab fell sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and required hospitalization in Autumn 2019. This was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The State Department's intelligence supports this theory.
“The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”
- US State Department, Jan 15 2021
The Cover Up
In December 2019, before the pandemic, Peter Daszak bragged about the work being done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He explained that researchers were 'programming coronaviruses' to be able to infect humanized mice (and therefore humans).
In February 2020, after the pandemic, a group of virologists came together to denounce the lab-leak theory. Their letter influenced much of public opinion and led to 'fact-checkers' like PolitiFact flagging the theory and big-tech censoring it.
The letter was organized and created by the aforementioned Peter Daszak, a president of a scientific research non-profit that funded coronavirus research in Wuhan. If the lab-leak theory is correct, Daszak would be accountable.
“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,”
- The Lancet on February 19, 2020
China & Chinese virologists: Chinese virologists didn't take the necessary precautions for gain-of-function research. If the lab-leak is proven, they're the first to blame.
The CCP suppressed information about the pandemic as it broke out. They deleted records from the Wuhan virology lab and other important but damaging information.
China's suppression prevented countries from effectively protecting themselves from the virus and still makes it difficult to prevent another pandemic.
The global community of virologists: Virologists understood the dangers of gain-of-function research but pushed ahead for science. They lobbied against the ban of gain-of-function research in 2014.
Dr. Anthony Fauci & the United States: For the first three years of the U.S. coronavirus research funding, there was a ban on funding gain-of-function research. A loophole in the ban allowed funding to be continued only with an approval from a head of the agency.
At the time, the heads of the agency were Anthony Fauci of NIAID and Francis Collins of NIH. One or both of them had to personally approve the funding for the research.
Therefore, a fair share of accountability rests on the United States, and possibly, Fauci.