WHO report claims to have rejected COVID laboratory leak theory, contradicts State Department
The World Health Organization’s report on the emergence of the coronavirus contradicts US intelligence reports on the safety of a laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began. The WHO report released on Tuesday rejected the hypothesis that the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan as “extremely unlikely”. Investigators claimed that the three coronavirus testing laboratories in the city “all had well-managed facilities with high biosafety (BSL3 or 4)” and staff monitoring systems that “showed no reports of COVID-19 compatible respiratory diseases in the weeks / months leading up to December 2019. “However, the report contradicts US diplomats who have raised concerns about the level of safety at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, whose researchers were studying bat coronaviruses prior to the pandemic. American diplomats visited WIV in 2018 and reported their concerns to Washington, DC on cables reported by the Washington Post. “During the interaction with scientists in the WIV laboratory [U.S. officials] The new laboratory has a serious shortage of the appropriately trained technicians and investigators necessary to operate this high safety laboratory safely, ”read a cable. Regarding the report’s claim that no lab technicians were infected with COVID-19, the State Department announced in January that researchers at the lab reported flu-like symptoms in the fall of 2020, weeks before COVID-19 was identified. WIV researchers have conducted “gain-of-function” research on bat coronaviruses, significantly altering the pathogen’s characteristics to make it more contagious. Such research has been carried out in laboratories around the world, and while some scientists consider it dangerous because of the risk of creating more deadly pathogens, others consider research necessary to gain knowledge of potentially devastating diseases. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, US intelligence agencies reportedly concluded that the coronavirus had leaked from a laboratory for the first time. Various current and former U.S. officials disagree on whether the coronavirus escaped a laboratory or whether it jumped from animals to humans in nature. Robert Redfield, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday he believed the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory. Meanwhile, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who also sits on Pfizer’s board of directors, has argued that a laboratory leak scenario is “plausible” but not the most likely theory.