Chinese authorities secretly investigated a lab at the heart of the row over Covid’s origin after the pandemic began, an ex-insider revealed today. The Mail has more.
President Xi Jinping’s communist administration has repeatedly denied the lab leak hypothesis throughout the pandemic, labelling it a smear campaign by ‘anti-China’ forces and insisting the virus emerged naturally in the city of Wuhan.
Yet Beijing considered the theory credible enough to instigate its own formal probe, according to the former chief of the country’s own CDC.
Professor George Gao, who ran the organisation when the pandemic began towards the end of 2019, claimed the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was “double-checked” by Government-backed experts.
The BBC says Professor Gao’s explosive revelation — shared with them — is the first acknowledgement of any internal inquiry taking place over the lab leak theory.
Discussing the possibility himself in a new podcast aimed to exploring the origins of the virus, he said: ‘You can always suspect anything. That’s science.
“Don’t rule out anything.”
At first, the overwhelming opinion, shared by the world’s leading experts, was that Covid crossed naturally from animals infected with a bat coronavirus.
But consensus over how the pandemic began three years ago has slowly started to shift.
The lab leak theory centres around the fact that the virus first emerged miles away from the WIV, where researchers were known to be working on coronaviruses found in bats.
No concrete proof to support either argument has ever been found, leaving experts fearing the truth will never be uncovered.
Professor Gao told Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origin that a formal investigation was carried out into the WIV after the start of the pandemic, although he did not specify when.
“That lab was double-checked by the experts in the field,” said the world-renowned immunologist and virologist.
Professor Goa admitted he hadn’t seen the official result of the probe – but added he had ‘heard’ the lab was given the all-clear.
“I think the conclusion is that they are following all the protocols. They haven’t found [any] wrongdoing,” he said.
In response to Professor Goa’s comments, China’s U.K. Embassy said: “The so-called ‘lab leak” is a lie created by anti-China forces. It is politically motivated and has no scientific basis.”
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