That's crazy talk, mostly because it requires believing that scientists are (a) in a vast Corporate and/or Government Conspiracy so cleverly crafted that only a few cranks can find it but (b) also so stupid as to think a virus in the same family as the common cold would cause California, which would be the fifth largest economy in the world if it were its own country, to commit economic suicide over a few dozen deaths.
No one would engineer a new coronavirus based on one found in bats and pangolins if they wanted to target humans. It relies on far too much chance. Genome deduction suggests it evolved in an animal and then jumped to humans or a non-pathogenic form jumped from an animal into humans and then evolved.
So bioweaponry is out, but what about SARS-CoV-2 being a natural virus that got out due to incompetence? A Chinese researcher was just convicted of selling experimental animals in local markets. In the U.S. it causes a Congressional investigation if people even try to leave a lab that contains secured samples of viruses without following procedure.
Chinese labs are famously sloppy. The labs in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei province where bat coronaviruses are studied say they are at least Biosafety Level-2, which is fine for a coronavirus; it is what you use when studying moderate potential hazards such as Hepatitis, HIV, and pathogenic forms of E. coli and Staphylococcus.
But were the labs really BSL-2, and not just the Chinese government saying they were BSL-2 the few times they did tours for party elites? In America everything is legally discoverable, but China is a communist dictatorship with zero transparency. They were able to insist until the mid-2000s they were not the cause of runaway CO2 pollution, and environmentalists in America chose to believe them, but scientists never did. Better satellites came online and showed their government was lying about emissions the entire time.
China, reeling from capitulating to the U.S. on trade last year, will try to find a way to blame Americans for this too, and media may help. Reporters are rushing to point out that the CDC cut its staffing in China prior to this happening. China didn't even listen to its own doctors in Wuhan when this broke out, they had them arrested and threatened them. Are we to believe they would've listed to foreign government employees?
It's impossible that a CDC staffing cut in China - oh no, only 17 American epidemiologists doing statistical correlation instead of 47 - caused this virus to spread. In no way is it our fault they are loose cannons when they don't have adult supervision if this was released by error. It simply means they shouldn't be allowed to have dangerous toys and that makes recent academic efforts to ferret out the American researchers who've been recruited to help promote China to American scholars more important than ever.