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18 scientists signed letter calling for inquiry into COVID-19 origin For Canadian biotech entrepreneur Yuri Deigin, whose 16,000-word essay last April provided one of the first detailed arguments that the COVID-19 virus could have escaped from a Chinese lab, the recent traction gained by such a theory provides a measure of satisfaction. “When I just put it out, I was ridiculed and attacked as a crackpot, a crazy guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Deigin said from Moscow. Deigin says he too initially believed what appeared to be the general scientific consensus, that the virus behind COVID-19 originated naturally through human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China “because that’s how viral outbreaks usually happen.”

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