From an ontological perspective, the comment made at the end of the Nature Medicine study, questioning the relevance of investigating the origins of Covid-19, appears to me to be the fingerprint of a Western obsession with what in academic circles is called intersectionality.
In the thick of battle during the winter of 1917, in the horror of the trenches that had been dug to hold the Western Front, to reflect on the origins of the Great War at that time would have been in bad taste. Whether it was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, or whether it was more generally the Austro-Hungarian empire's European aspirations that set the war in motion, was irrelevant. It was a time for battle, not a time for historians.
This line of thinking - employing the war metaphor that is the most popular of conceits among Western politicians right now - is, roughly speaking, the one taken by the authors of a recently published study in the research journal Nature Medicine.
The study considers the potential for the coronavirus that is mercilessly afflicting the human race to have been hosted as an intermediary between bats and us, in pangolins, specifically those traded...