Researchers Call for ‘Full and Unrestricted’ Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins
The Chinese government has not been forthright about the origins of the novel coronavirus that sparked the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. On January 5, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an emergency preparedness notification reporting that Chinese officials had alerted the agency to an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in the city of Wuhan. The alert noted that “some patients were operating dealers or vendors in the Huanan Seafood market.” The dominant narrative was that the virus most likely jumped from bats to humans (possibly via an intermediary species) at a wet market in Wuhan.
Doubts about the market being the initial source of the outbreak soon surfaced. Some articles in late January 2020 cited the possibility that the virus might have escaped by infecting a worker associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a laboratory known to conduct research on coronaviruses. In April, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement declaring that “the Intelligence Community (IC) also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.” However, in January 2021, the U.S. Department of State released a fact sheet that suggested, among other things, that the outbreak could have been “the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.”
The fact sheet specifically noted that beginning in 2016, “WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar).” The fact sheet added that “the U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”
It is notable that on September 12, 2019, the main database of samples and viral sequences of the WIV was taken
Article from Latest – Reason.com