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iayork t1_jcq2plo wrote

A very early genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was posted by Chinese researchers, then removed (probably because of Chinese government pressure). However, a few western researchers grabbed the sequence before it was removed and analyzed it. As well as viral sequence, the sample had raccoon dog DNA sequences associated with it (as contaminants), implying that this extremely early virus sample came from raccoon dogs. It’s known that raccoon dogs were kept in the wet market that’s been implicated in very early COVID19 transmission, and raccoon dogs are highly susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, so it’s a consistent story.

It’s unfortunate that the Chinese government are obviously trying to suppress this, because if they’d simply make available the info about this there would be less space for the silly conspiracy theories.

Here’s the WHO statement, which explains a little more and shows the level of frustration they have with the Chinese government: SAGO statement on newly released SARS-CoV-2 metagenomics data from China CDC on GISAID

> …samples collected from the environment and animals within the market in early 2020, 73/923 environmental samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2-specific RT-qPCR, from various stalls and sewerage systems in and around the market … the presence of high levels of raccoon dog mitochondrial DNA in the metagenomics data from environmental samples identified in the new analysis, suggest that raccoon dog and other animals may have been present before the market was cleaned as part of the public health intervention…


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iayork t1_jcqo0ua wrote

No one suggests raccoon dogs are the reservoir. They suggest they were an intermediate host between bats and humans, as has happened with all the other bat coronaviruses that have jumped into humans.


atomfullerene t1_jcr3yhw wrote

Additionally, soon after the outbreak started China went through and eliminated a huge number of animals from wet markets and livestock farms...a reasonable response, but there was very little outside testing of those animals for viruses. They may well have wiped out the entire population of intermediate hosts.


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rysto32 t1_jcrp1v0 wrote

It is not. There was a report from the Department of Energy that said with low confidence that a lab leak was had the highest probability of being the culprit. One report from one government department does not make for an official US government position.