The paper was published by an international team of eminent biologists, led by Professor Edward Holmes from the University of Sydney and Professor Andrew Rambaut from the University of Edinburgh.
The authors also emphasize that there currently exists zero evidence for such a laboratory origin.
Professor Holmes said: “Our careful and critical analysis of the currently available data provided no evidence for the idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a laboratory.”
Rather, it argues that “there is substantial body of scientific evidence supporting a zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2“.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
The 21 eminent scientists from universities and research institutes around the world warn that a focus on a highly improbable lab origin is distracting from the most urgent scientific tasks to “comprehensively investigate the zoonotic origin through collaborative and carefully coordinated studies”.
The authors warn that without a focus on this line of enquiry, the world will be “vulnerable to future pandemics” arising from new viruses.