May 27, 2020 | 9:12am | Updated May 27, 2020 | 9:34am
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is “almost perfectly human adapted” — lending credence to the possibility it was man-made in a Chinese lab, a top Australian vaccine researcher says.
Nikolai Petrovsky was shocked when research found that the virus was more virulent in humans than any other animal, the Daily Mail reported.
He said it was like the new strain of coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, was “completely optimized from day one without the need to evolve” like other viruses.
“This is a new virus that has never been in humans before, but it has an extraordinarily high binding to human receptors, which is very surprising,” Petrovsky told the Mail. “It is almost perfectly human adapted, it couldn’t do any better.”
He said it is possible the virus was created in a lab in China — deepening suspicions that the global pandemic originated in Wuhan.
“We have to ask how that happened. Was it a complete fluke? It can be as nature has many shots at goal and you only see the ones that land,” Petrovsky said.
Nikolai Petrovsky (second from left)
Vaxine Pty Ltd
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli
AFP via Getty Images
He also said release of the deadly virus could’ve been a complete accident.
“Another possibility which still cannot be excluded is that SARS-CoV-2 was created by a recombination event that occurred inadvertently or consciously in a laboratory handling coronaviruses, with the new virus then accidentally released into the local human population,” he said.