Hello. It looks like you�re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best Tortoise experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help, let us know at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

The origins of Covid: what do we know?

The origins of Covid: what do we know?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

If we don’t know where Covid came from, how can we prevent all this happening again? Initially dismissed as a Trumpian conspiracy theory with more than a whiff of sinophobia about it, the lab-escape theory is now being treated more seriously. 18 months on, there is no new, compelling evidence to support the natural transmission theory – that the virus ‘jumped’ from animals to humans via bats in a cave and/or pangolins sold at the wet market. It is known that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was part of a global virus research programme. It is not clear whether this research involved ‘gain-of-function’ development, which artificially enhances the contagious properties of a virus, but it is increasingly apparent that there are insufficient enforceable security and information transparency protocols in place for laboratories working with so-called ‘high consequence pathogens’. Some scientists say that harvesting viruses from wild animals in order to research them, with a view to improving pandemic preparedness, is simply asking for trouble. Join us for a ThinkIn in which we try to ascertain what we know, what we don’t and, crucially, what must happen next?


editor and invited experts

James Harding
Editor and Co-founder

Dennis Carroll
Chair of the Global Virome Project Leadership Board