Readers on the “Lab Leak Theory” #7

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From TPM Reader NB

I wanted to comment with a slightly different perspective on your recent discussion of the “lab leak” theory of the origins of COVID: The FBI is terrible at molecular bioscience.

A really key high profile example of this was the investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings. There were so many questions surrounding the FBI investigation that the National Academies of Sciences were commissioned to review the scientific approaches used by the FBI, culminating in a 2008 report (summarized here🙂 **I was a postdoc in the lab of one of the scientists on this panel and thus have a particular memory of this episode. To keep with the format of the other letters you got from scientists: I’m a biochemist and microbiologist, not a virologist**…

This report was extremely critical of the FBI and concluded that the scientific approaches used by the FBI were so flawed that the evidence and conclusions they drew from it did not support their claims. After the report was reviewed by the FBI, they presented additional forensic evidence to the scientists that led to revision of the report.

I’d be really surprised if the FBI is any better at this now and the scientific questions surrounding the origins of COVID are much more complex than for the anthrax mailings. Unless they have undisclosed forensic evidence that is the basis of their assessment, I’d assume that their science is garbage.

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