Cute little guys!
According to The Atlantic‘s most recent article conveniently titled “The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic”:
“…many scientists have stood by the notion that this outbreak—like most others—had purely natural roots. But that hypothesis has been missing a key piece of proof: genetic evidence from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, showing that the virus had infected creatures for sale there.”
Now, an international team of virologists, genomicists, and evolutionary biologists may have finally found crucial data to help fill that knowledge gap. A new analysis of genetic sequences collected from the market shows that raccoon dogs being illegally sold at the venue could have been carrying and possibly shedding the virus at the end of 2019. It’s some of the strongest support yet, experts told me, that the pandemic began when SARS-CoV-2 hopped from animals into humans, rather than in an accident among scientists experimenting with viruses.”
This data apparently comes from Chinese scientists who have submitted a paper awaiting publication. It has not been peer reviewed, however, The Atlantic and other mockingbird outlets couldn’t wait to suggest the Department of Energy and the FBI that they are wrong.
The Washington Post couldn’t wait to run the unpublished, not yet peer reviewed “study”. The WaPo article states:
The new evidence comes via swabs taken in animal stalls at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. Investigators collected them in early 2020 after the market had been closed and all the animals removed. Oneswab contained a mixture of genetic material that included a large amount from a raccoon dog along with tracesfrom the coronavirus, said Stephen Goldstein, a virologist at the University of Utah who was part of the team that analyzed the data.
I guess the source of the global pandemic that killed millions wasn’t important enough an issue to adequately complete the analysis of the swabs they took over 3 years ago in “early 2020”.
A raccoon dog, despite the name, is an actual dog that is close to the fox in terms of genetics that lives in East Asia. This is the first mention of a “raccoon dog”, or any dog for that, being the originator of the COVID-19 virus with this “new evidence” found over three and a half years after the COVID-19 virus was first discovered.