The conspiracy network is alive and thriving and the gist of this is that the coronavirus is created in some lab because it has a sequence that is similar to HIV. I have two very good sources and they point out that this claim is MOST LIKELY completely bogus. Why? Because this very same sequence also exists in many other viruses and it is NOT unique to the coronavirus or HIV, which by the way was a virus.
This claim comes from a questionable scientist based in India where he took the genome sequences of Wuhan coronavirus, without any peer review, and claimed that it had similarities to the genome of…HIV. Some have argued this is why it is even spreading so fast. Sorry, that is because of how it is transmitted which is like the seasonal flu whereas HIV was transmitted predominantly from sexual contact or a blood transfusion with tainted blood.
Reliable sources found 4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) which are unique to the 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses. Most interestingly, amino acid residues in all the 4 inserts have identity or similarity to those in the HIV-1 gp120 or HIV-1 Gag.
Before we jump to the next zombie apocalypse, I question why any reliable scientist would spurt out such findings without peer-review? Everything is turning on this distrust of China. If the coronavirus was spliced in a lab by them for military purposes, then surely they would not hand the evidence over to the rest of the world. Let’s be rational here.
Given that the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) appears to have four additions to its genome that similar viruses, like SARS and MERS, are lacking, is not proof in and of itself. This implies a lower death-rate, but perhaps a higher contagion rate being more similar to the seasonal flu. These additions being touted by the scientist in India claim they are identical or extremely similar to parts of the HIV genome. Many go on to speculate that this may be why the coronavirus is spreading so quickly, and also that something sinister may be afoot. He did not bother to elaborate on what methods were used to genetically insert these into the coronavirus.
Sources checking whether it was true that HIV and coronavirus have similarities found that while these sequences do pop up in HIV, they ALSO pop up in so many other viruses. There’s absolutely NO EVIDENCE that they are immediately suspect or that they were somehow genetically spliced in by the lab in China which is the implication. One out of four sequences is indeed found in both Wuhan coronavirus and HIV. The same sequence also appears in a virus that infects Streptococcus (spherical bacteria), which is of a rat virus in origin. They also appear in what is known as an “acute bee paralysis virus.”
Sorry, perhaps the culprit may just be mother nature and not some mad scientist in a lab. We should wait for a peer-to-peer review, but this claim from India appears to be bogus on the surface. It is not pointing out that this sequence also appears in many other viruses. That is really misleading a lot of people in the conspiracy world who seem to want to bring about a horror move like some zombie apocalypse.