WaPo Editorial Board: “Possibility Of A Laboratory Accident Or Leak” of COVID-19 From Wuhan Lab “Must Be Investigated” (Update: WHO drops investigation)
We reported on Chinese university researchers suggesting this possibility almost a year ago.
A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province.
‘The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus,’ penned by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao claims the WHCDC kept disease-ridden animals in laboratories, including 605 bats.
It also mentions that bats – which are linked to coronavirus – once attacked a researcher and ‘blood of bat was on his skin.’
Now, a year later, The Washington Post Editorial Board conceded the possibility that the coronavirus may have its origins in a Wuhan laboratory.
Its piece began with the popular animal-origin hypotheses and continues:
But there is another pathway, also plausible, that must be investigated. That is the possibility of a laboratory accident or leak. It could have involved a virus that was improperly disposed of or perhaps infected a laboratory worker who then passed it to others. Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, is a major transportation hub and a center of virus studies in China, with at least six facilities with BSL-3 laboratories for handling infectious agents. Published papers show that some of these institutions have been very active in coronavirus research. The most active is the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Shi Zhengli leads a research team that has extensively studied and experimented on bat coronaviruses that are very similar to the one that ignited the global pandemic.
Legal Insurrection authors also reported on the evidence of Chinese cover-up.
Communist China is actively clamping down on the research into the Wuhan coronavirus’s origins, an investigative report released by the Associated Press on Wednesday shows.
The report based on leaked official documents and interviews with Chinese and other scientists reveals that Beijing is hiding and censoring findings related to the origin of the global pandemic that first surfaced in central China late last year and has killed close to two million people worldwide.
The cover-up is being coordinated by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party top brass, the AP documentation suggests. The Chinese regime has forced “all coronavirus studies in China to be approved by high-level government officials” and thereby “paralyzed research efforts,” the report said.
The WaPo Editorial Board agreed with our assessment as well:
China actively covered up the early stages of the pandemic, concealed the transmissibility of the virus from its own people and the world, and punished Wuhan doctors who expressed worry about it in late December 2019. President Xi Jinping did not warn the public in China or abroad until mid-January.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the report is that the database with information on studies by Dr. Shi Zhengli, Chinas foremost bat virus researcher, is no longer accessible.
At the core of Dr. Shi’s work is a database at the institute. According to research by DRASTIC, a network of researchers and scientists, this is the most important bat coronavirus database in China. Overall, it holds records of some 22,000 samples and some of their genetic sequences, including for WIV virus sampling trips going back many years. The institute collected more than 15,000 samples from bats, covering over 1,400 bat viruses. The database holds more than 100 unpublished sequences of bat coronaviruses that could significantly help the probe into the origins of the pandemic.
Of particular interest are the full sequences of eight viruses sampled in 2015 in an unidentified location in Yunnan province, which was only recently disclosed. In 2012, six people who were clearing bat feces from an abandoned mine in Yunnan developed an illness with symptoms very similar to covid-19. Three eventually died.
The results of the investigation into the cause of their illness have not been fully disclosed. A bat-virus sampling trip by WIV-EcoHealth was underway in nearby locations while these six people were infected. A virus designated RaTG13 was sampled from the mine in 2013 and has been described as the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2.
It is important to note that Shi conducted “gain of function” research on bat coronaviruses, which involves modifying their genomes with enhanced ability to infect a new host species or transmit from one host to another more easily.
America suffered since the media mocked anyone who suggested that the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese laboratory. It prevented American officials from presenting a united front. It also prevented an investigation into the origin of the virus, and how it spread. It allowed China to play the victim, which gave officials time to destroy evidence.
Finally, it allowed the Chinese communists free reign to project their actions onto others, and the lack of earlier challenges means they will continue to propaganda campaign undaunted.
China’s ambassador to the United States suggested in a televised interview Sunday that the World Health Organization should investigate whether the coronavirus outbreak began somewhere in America rather than Wuhan.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria asked Ambassador Cui Tiankai if the virus had leaked out of a Wuhan lab before becoming a global pandemic.
“I think when people make accusations, they have to prove these accusations,” Cui replied, telling Zakaria that WHO scientists were currently working in the city to “look at all the facts.”
I say this to The Washington Post Editorial Board: Welcome to the party, pal.
Update: WHO drops investigation into Wuhan lab leak:
From Fox News:
A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic downplayed the possibility that the virus leaked from a lab near Wuhan, China, during a news conference on Tuesday.
Instead, coronavirus likely spread from an animal to humans, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said. The WHO and China have faced strong criticism from around the world over their pandemic response, as China blocked WHO investigators from entering Wuhan for months; they finally arrived in mid-January of this year.
“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” Embarek told reporters.
“However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” Embarek said. “Therefore it is not a hypothesis that we advise to suggest future studies … into the understanding of the origin of the virus.”
Embarek made the assessment at the end of a visit to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where a team of scientists is investigating the possible origins of the coronavirus. The first cases were discovered in the city in December 2019.
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