More and more circumstantial pieces of evidence point to a simple truth that the coronavirus that led to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic globally could have leaked from the Wuhan Virology Lab (WIV) in China.
In light of this circumstantial evidence coming to light, the President of China Xi Jinping and his good friend Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have decided to release a new act of coverup titled ‘Extremely Unlikely’.
But the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China continue to defend against the truth and deflect the line of questioning that the WIV is the source of the origin of the SARs-CoV-2.
WHO in its investigative report ‘Origins of SARS-Cov-2’ states that the seafood market in Wuhan City was the source of this Coronavirus outbreak or played a role in the initial amplification of the outbreak.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO said, “The team has confirmed that there was widespread contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in the Huanan market in Wuhan, but could not determine the source of this contamination.”
A “lab-leak hypothesis” about the origin of COVID-19 is flawed, said Dominic Dwyer, a professor at the University of Sydney, in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald published Tuesday.
The key flaw, he said, is that no evidence shows that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had SARS-CoV-2 before the pandemic.
“The laboratory leak, for that to be the origin … meant they must have had the virus, to begin with, and we don’t have evidence of that,” said Dwyer, who was also a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team sent to China in January.
As a “pretty prominent research institute” working on coronaviruses, the Wuhan Institute of Virology had no reason to hide anything if they did have the virus, said Dwyer.
China appeared open and cooperative with the investigation into COVID-19’s origin, he said. “All the locations we asked about visiting, they let us visit. I think they were pretty open.”
The WHO team’s report concluded that a virus jumping from one animal species to another and then to humans was the most likely cause of COVID-19, and deemed a lab leak “extremely unlikely,” according to Dwyer.
Experts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have dismissed theories that the virus that causes COVID-19 was leaked from the lab, saying that no staff member of the institution has ever contracted the virus.
The experts, who requested anonymity, said individuals from the West can present their proof if they have any. They also dismissed as groundless the reports from some media outlets that three workers from the institute had contracted the virus.
In a statement released on May 27, US President Joe Biden said he had ordered the US intelligence community to redouble its efforts to study the origins of the coronavirus, including exploring the theory of a laboratory accident.
The Chinese experts’ comments came after the National Health Commission released the China part of the report on the WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2.
The joint expert panel from China and the WHO, after carefully assessing every possibility, concluded that it is “extremely unlikely” that the virus spread to humans through a laboratory leak, the report said.
The experts tested more than 4,500 samples for research programs that were collected in the second half of 2019 in hospitals in Wuhan, other cities in Hubei province, and in other provincial-level areas, and these did not reveal any COVID-19 infections, according to the report.
They also reviewed the cases of over 76,000 patients who visited medical institutions in Wuhan between Oct 1 and Dec 10 for reasons including fever, acute respiratory disease, flu-like illnesses, and pneumonia of unknown cause. Although 92 cases were considered to be compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection, subsequent testing and a further external multidisciplinary clinical review determined that none was in fact due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology have found a new branch in the family tree of bat coronaviruses and the result cannot support the COVID-19 lab leak theory, the South China Morning Post has reported.
The viruses, which have high levels of similarity across certain areas of the genome, are more distantly related to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 than several other known viruses, the researchers were quoted.
In the paper, the researchers said the “evidence cannot support” the lab leak theory since the closest strain in their laboratories, with a 96 percent similarity to Sars-CoV-2 or decades of evolutionary distance, has a very weak ability to bind to human cells.
The research examined eight viruses from over 1,000 samples collected in 2015 from bats in and around a mining cave in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan.
The viruses could not efficiently bind to a human cell receptor used by other coronaviruses that infect people, according to experiments on one of the viruses, dubbed RaTG15, indicating little spillover potential without further adaptation, according to the paper.
The paper provides further evidence that the Wuhan lab does not contain a close enough virus to Sars-CoV-2 for it to have been the source of the COVID-19 outbreak, said evolutionary biologist Edward Holmes at the University of Sydney, who was not involved with the work, adding that the latest viruses are “clearly distant to Sars-CoV-2.”
Based on the analysis of this and other surveillance data, it is considered unlikely that any substantial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection was occurring in Wuhan during those two months.
The lab-leak theory that the COVID-19 virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory is “extremely unlikely,” a renowned German virologist has told Swiss digital magazine Republik.
Asked about the origins of the coronavirus and the theory that it accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Christian Drosten, a German virologist at the Berlin-based Charite Institute of Virology, said “this idea of a research accident is extremely unlikely for me because it would be far too cumbersome.”
Drosten, who has been researching coronaviruses for years and also played a crucial role in the discovery of the SARS-associated coronavirus in 2003, said the most likely origin was carnivore breeding and the fur industry.
In the article “Mr. Drosten, where did this virus come from?,” Drosten told the Republik journalists that he has no evidence for the conjecture, except for the clearly proven origin of SARS-CoV-1, a virus of the same species.
“Viruses of the same species do the same things and often come from the same source,” he was quoted as saying, noting that the scientifically documented transitional hosts of the SARS virus were raccoon dogs and crawling cats.
Drosten came to international prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic as an expert on the implications and actions required to combat the disease.
In addition, Drosten said that global travel and meat consumption had contributed to the spread of COVID-19.
“Travel makes it easier for a local epidemic to turn into a pandemic. At the source, at the transition from animals to humans, we humans use more and more land in the wild animal areas and intensify livestock husbandry,” he said.
“The hunger for the meat of growing humanity. The denser and larger the animal population, the greater the chances that a virus, once it has entered the population, will explode and mutate like SARS-2,” Drosten added.
A spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in the UK denounced the COVID-19 “lab leak” theory on Thursday and called for a scientist-led study on the issue and global cooperation.
“Study of virus origins is a scientific issue that should not be politicized. We stand for a scientists-led study of origins featuring solidarity and cooperation, not stoking confrontation and sowing division,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson noted that “a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely,” a conclusion from the joint WHO-China study mission, is an authoritative and official conclusion based on science.
To politicize the origin tracing of COVID-19, a matter of science, will not only make it hard to find the origin of the virus but also give free rein to the “political virus” and seriously hamper international cooperation on the pandemic, said the Chinese Embassy in the United States on Wednesday.
“On the origin tracing of COVID-19, we have been calling for international cooperation on the basis of respecting facts and science, with a view to better coping with unexpected epidemics in the future,” said the spokesperson for the embassy in a statement.
“Out of a sense of responsibility towards the health of mankind, we support a comprehensive study of all early cases of COVID-19 found worldwide and a thorough investigation into some secretive bases and biological laboratories all over the world,” said the spokesperson.
“Such study and investigation shall be full, transparent, and evidence-based, and shall get to the bottom to make everything clear,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson noted that some people lately have played the old trick of political hype on the origin tracing of COVID-19 in the world. Smear campaign and blame-shifting are making a comeback, and the conspiracy theory of “lab leak” is resurfacing.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, some political forces have been fixated on political manipulation and blame game, while ignoring their people’s urgent need to fight the pandemic and the international demand for cooperation on this front, which has caused a tragic loss of many lives, the spokesperson said.
“The lesson from last year is still fresh in our memory. While the pandemic is still causing great damage in today’s world and the international community is expecting greater coordination among countries, some people are turning to their old playbook,” said the spokesperson.
“We cannot but wonder, have they already put that bitter lesson behind them, so soon? Or do they want to see a replay of tragedies? With such irresponsible behaviors, how can they face up to their own people? How can they face up to the international community? And how can they face up to human conscience?” the spokesperson said.
While WHO and China continue to deflect the truth about the man-made origins of SARs-Cov-2 originating out of the WIV controlled by the Chinese Military (PLA), more and more the truth continues to be unearthed.