Fact Check - Did Australian Scientists refer to COVID-19 as 'US-Government Funded Bioweapon'??

By Satya Priya BN  Published on  7 Aug 2020 11:00 AM GMT
Fact Check - Did Australian Scientists refer to COVID-19 as US-Government Funded Bioweapon??

A video has been shared on Facebook titled "Coronavirus is a Lab-engineered Bioweapon", showing a study that Australian Scientists found that COVID-19 is Human-made in a laboratory.

The same video has been shared by other users too.

The thumbnail of the video goes on to say 'COVID-19 is far from "Fake" it is very real and very deadly. Australian scientists blow the whistle on this US government-funded bioweapon.'

The archived claims can be found here and here.

Fact Check:

The claim that Australian Scientists referred to coronavirus as 'US-Government Funded Bioweapon' is FALSE.

The video shows Ben Swann, an American Television news anchor as the interviewer. He runs a website named Truth In Media where he is seen in several videos discussing various topics.

This video was originally published on this website on July 16, 2020, with the title "TRUTH IN MEDIA WITH BEN SWANN, EPISODE 30: MULTIPLE SCIENTISTS: C0R0NAVLRUS ALTERED IN LAB TO BETTER ATTACH TO HUMANS". This video includes excerpts from an interview of Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky telecast on Australia's Sky news.

Prof. Petrovsky was interviewed by Sky News about his research on the origin theory of the novel coronavirus. The team led by Nikolai Petrovsky, Professor of Medicine at Flinders University, has suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was likely genetically engineered that led the virus naturally evolving in an animal subject to be effective at attaching to human cells.

The team used a version of the novel coronavirus collected in the earliest days of the outbreak and applied computer models to test its capacity to bind to certain cell receptor enzymes, called "ACE2," that allow the virus to infect human and animal cells to varying degrees of efficacy.

The team observed that "the novel coronavirus most powerfully binds with human ACE2, and with variously lesser degrees of effectiveness with animal versions of the receptor." Thus the study suggests that the deadly virus was manufactured in a laboratory in order to penetrate human cells.

In the interview published on Sky News website, Prof. Petrovsky confirmed the same. He expressed the speculation that Coronavirus might have been a 'cell culture experiment ' gone wrong. And the main objective of their scientific research to find out the origin of the virus is to try and prevent a future pandemic and there is no political agenda.

This claim was also debunked by AAP Fact check.

Though scientists from Australia are speculating that Coronavirus can be a human-made virus, but they are NOT referring to it as a Bioweapon. Therefore, the claim that Australian Scientists referred to coronavirus as 'US-Government Funded Bioweapon' is FALSE.

This fact check has been published as part of the Internews Information Saves Lives: Rapid Response Fund project to NewsMeter

Claim Review:Australian Scientists refer to COVID-19 as a US-Government Funded Bioweapon
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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