Scientists who rejected the theory of lab leaks linked to Wuhan lab: report

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London, September 14 (IANS) Scientists who dismissed the theory that Covid-19 had leaked from the Chinese Institute of Virology in Wuhan (WIV) had links to the infamous laboratory, according to media reports.

All but one of the scientists who signed a letter published in The Lancet on March 7 last year rejecting the theory of lab leaks had ties to Chinese researchers, their colleagues or donors, The Telegraph reported.

The Lancet letter, signed by 27 scientists and initiated by British zoologist Peter Daszak, effectively ended scientific debate over whether the coronavirus was manipulated or disclosed from the Chinese lab.

Daszak is the chairman of the US-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance which has a direct connection to China. The firm has also funded research at the WIV.

The signatories said they “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” surrounding the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, according to the report.

The shocking revelation, made using an access to information request, revealed that an email sent by Daszak on February 8 revealed that he had been invited to write the letter by “our staff. “in China for a” demonstration of support “.

While Daszak ultimately declared his involvement in the EcoHealth Alliance, he failed to mention that five other signatories were also working for the organization, Express.co.uk said citing the newspaper.

In addition, three of the Lancet letter’s signatories were from the UK Wellcome Trust, which also funded work at the WIV. One of the signatories, Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of Sage and director of the Trust, describes George Gao, head of the Wuhan Center for Disease Control, as an “old friend”.

Gao, who is also a former Wellcome Trust research assistant, had backed Daszak’s appointment to the National Academy of Sciences, according to the report.

Even after almost two years since Covid-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of the origin of the virus still remains unanswered. Numerous claims have been made by several scientists and governments around the world. The recent U.S. intelligence report also couldn’t give a definitive conclusion as to whether the new coronavirus spread naturally to humans or whether it was the result of a lab leak.

Meanwhile, claims of US involvement have also been strong.

A new book by Australian investigative journalist Sharri Markson claimed American money funded Wuhan’s infamous virology lab. The book also claimed that controversial research to make diseases more potent was supported by Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, Markson wrote in The Times.

Likewise, more than 3,000 pages of emails from Fauci’s work during the pandemic between January and June 2020, obtained by the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News and CNN via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), raised the question. whether he supported Chinese denials of the theory that Covid-19 escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.

–IANS

rvt / arm

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