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Science Versus Public Sentiment: “Covid-19 is not a Bioweapon Created in a Laboratory, Say UK Scientists”, “Nope, Don’t Believe It”, Say UK Public.

Date: July 24,2020 |Hits: 9076 Download PDF How to cite this paper

John Paull

University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.

*Corresponding author: John Paull


In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, an unresolved question is the aetiology of Covid-19: Where did this novel coronavirus come from? When an account by “UK scientists” ruled out Covid-19 as a bioweapon and as a laboratory creation, the dismissal of the claims by the ‘vox pop’ was swift and decisive, considered and multifactorial. There was a consensus of public sentiment (of 100%) to reject the two scientific propositions of “no bioweapon” and “no laboratory involvement”. The present paper reports on the top 100 comments (ranked by reader votes and accounting for 13,983 votes, comprising 13,156 up-arrow votes and 827 down-arrow votes) of UK newspaper readers to the dismissal of Covid-19 as a bioweapon and as a laboratory construct. Com-mentators pointed out the coincidences surrounding the outbreak, especially that the reported ground-zero city of the outbreak, Wuhan, China, was also host to several coronavirus research laboratories. Commentators expressed their skepticism of governments, institutions, and also scientists to tell them the truth (even if those entities knew it). Commentators dismissed the language of the scientists, pointing out (quite rightly) that “improbable” does not equal “impossible”. Commentators proposed variously that Covid-19 escaped from a laboratory, was “Made in China”, and was a bioweapon. Some readers called for banning the eating of wild animals in China and thereby excluding that channel as a potential viral source in the future. The proximal origin of Covid-19 is presently an unsettled question. Scientists’ dismissal of the hypo-thesis that Covid-19 is a bioweapon or a laboratory construct is itself dismissed by the public. The public want answers but they are also quite ready to question and reject the accounts of scientists. In the meantime, the aetiology of Covid-19 can be expected to remain contested and unsettled for some considerable time.


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How to cite this paper

Science Versus Public Sentiment: “Covid-19 is not a Bioweapon Created in a Laboratory, Say UK Scientists”, “Nope, Don’t Believe It”, Say UK Public

How to cite this paper: John Paull. (2020) Science Versus Public Sentiment: “Covid-19 is not a Bioweapon Created in a Laboratory, Say UK Scientists”, “Nope, Don’t Believe It”, Say UK Public. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research, 4(3), 93-100.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijcemr.2020.07.011

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