Nature rights apply to individual animals. And, one would assume, to be consistent, to individual plants, insects, water, and (what the hell) germs too.
Species are surrounded by other species (often sharing the same body), and therefore may interfere with one another’s fitness.
It’s another example of a paper that sounds like it could have been written by a proponent of intelligent design.
William Dembski offers insightful analysis about how we could go about determining whether the virus was designed.
For my part, I think it’s better to approach the data without assumptions and to let the evidence speak for itself.