In this compulsive whodunnit, Elaine Dewar reads the science, follows the money, and connects the geopolitical interests to the spin.
When the first TV newscast described a SARS-like flu affecting a distant Chinese metropolis, investigative journalist Elaine Dewar started asking questions: Was SARS-CoV-2 something that came from nature, as leading scientists insisted, or did it come from a lab, and what role might controversial experiments have played in its development? Why was Wuhan the pandemic’s ground zero—and why, on the other side of the Atlantic, had two researchers been marched out of a lab in Winnipeg by the RCMP? Why were governments so slow to respond to the emerging pandemic, and why, now, is the government of China refusing to cooperate with the World Health Organization? And who, or what, is DRASTIC?
Locked down in Toronto with the world at a standstill, Dewar pored over newspapers and magazines, preprints and peer-reviewed journals, email chains and blacked-out responses to access to information requests; she conducted Zoom interviews and called telephone numbers until someone answered as she hunted down the truth of the virus’s origin. In this compulsive whodunnit, she reads the science, follows the money, connects the geopolitical interests to the spin—and shows how leading science journals got it wrong, leaving it to interested citizens and junior scientists to pull out the truth.
Praise for On the Origin
“Before I read this book, I thought the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis was just a wild conspiracy. Elaine Dewar makes a very strong case that it may well be true. She even goes farther, showing scientists are often sloppy with hazardous biological materials, that they engage in naive research with some dubious government actors, and, when caught, dodge responsibility by smearing their critics as enemies of science.” —Mark Bourrie, author of Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Praise for Elaine Dewar
“Dewar is justly well known for her relentless research and we are fortunate to have her.”—Philip Marchand, National Post
“Dewar is a keen observer of place and personality.”—Publishers Weekly