The Corner

Science & Tech

Nothing to See Here, Just ‘Labs in China’ Being Sloppy with ‘Biological Disposal’

People wearing face masks at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, China, April 14, 2020 (Aly Song/Reuters)

Buried in the very last paragraph of a lengthy New York Times article about the intelligence community, and the Trump administration’s interest in the theory that SARS-CoV-2 emerged because of some sort of accident in a lab in Wuhan, China:

Global Times, a popular state-run newspaper, then published an article on “chronic inadequate management issues” at laboratories, including problems with biological disposal.

Oh. From that article:

The release of the guideline deals with chronic loopholes at laboratories, Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University in Hubei Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“The mention of biosafety at labs by the ministry has nothing to do with some saying that the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,” Yang said.

Laboratories in China have paid insufficient attention to biological disposal, Yang said.

Lab trash can contain man-made viruses, bacteria or microbes with a potentially deadly impact on human beings, animals or plants.

Some researchers discharge laboratory materials into the sewer after experiments without a specific biological disposal mechanism, Yang explained.

Oh, wait… the same sewer system that wet-market cooks use to collect “gutter oil” for use in cooking?

We have Chinese state-run media reporting that labs dump hazardous lab materials into the sewers, and cooks who collect cooking oil from those same sewers and use it in the preparation of food, and some people still insist that there’s no way a laboratory could have had any role in this outbreak?

That Global Times article continues:

Medical staff and experts have long been asking for better regulation and supervision of biological research institutes in China, but with mixed results.

A top academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering earned 10.17 million yuan ($1.46 million) by illegally selling off lab animals and experimental milk, according to a report in the Shanghai-based The Paper.

Li Ning, a leading expert at transgenic technologies at China Agricultural University, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on January 2 for grafting 37.56 million yuan.

Chinese scientists are selling the lab animals off for cash, and some people still insist that there’s no way a laboratory could have had any role in this outbreak?

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