WHO chief ‘believes Covid DID leaked from Wuhan lab’ after ‘catastrophic accident’ in 2019
WHO chief ‘believes Covid DID leaked from Wuhan lab’ after ‘catastrophic accident’ in 2019 despite public maintaining ‘all assumptions remain on the table’
- Managing director Tedros Adhanom entrusted to a senior European official: source
- The Mail on Sunday first revealed concerns about the Wuhan Institute of Virology
- The global death toll from the Covid pandemic is now estimated at over 18 million
- WHO initially called scare lab leak a ‘conspiracy theory’, accepting China’s story
The head of the World Health Organization privately believes the Covid pandemic started following a leak from a Chinese lab, according to a senior government source.
While publicly the group maintains that “all hypotheses remain on the table” on the origins of Covid, the source specifies that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), had recently confided to a senior European politician that the most likely explanation was a catastrophic accident at a lab in Wuhan, where infections first spread in late 2019.
The Mail on Sunday first revealed concerns within Western intelligence over the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists were handling coronaviruses taken from bats in caves nearly 1,000 miles away – the same caves where Covid-19 is believed to have originated – in April 2020. The worldwide death toll from the Covid pandemic is now estimated to have reached over 18 million.
Researchers work in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Covid was first discovered
The WHO was initially criticized for its deferential approach to China in the face of the pandemic, as well as its willingness to accept Beijing’s protests that the lab leak claims were just a ” conspiracy theory”.
However, in the absence of any convincing evidence of ‘zoonotic’ spread – the process by which a virus jumps from animals to humans – he is now taking a more neutral public stance.
Dr Tedros updated member states on the pandemic this month, admitting: ‘We don’t yet have answers as to where it came from or how it entered the human population.
“Understanding the origins of the virus is very important scientifically to prevent future epidemics and pandemics.
“But morally, we also owe it to all those who suffered and died and their families. The longer it takes, the more difficult it becomes. We need to step up and act with a sense of urgency.
“All hypotheses must remain on the table until we have evidence that allows us to rule out certain hypotheses. This makes it all the more urgent that this scientific work be separated from politics. The way to prevent the politicization is for countries to share data and samples transparently and without interference from any government.The only way this scientific work can progress successfully is with the full cooperation of all countries, including China, where the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported.
The Mail on Sunday first revealed concerns about the region’s Institute of Virology in 2020
It has been suggested that Covid ‘could have easily escaped while being analysed’ by scientists
Last year, the WHO established the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of New Pathogens (Sago) to define the studies that would be needed to identify the origins of SARS-CoV-2 – as Covid is scientifically known – and to “to create a global framework for studying the origin of emerging and re-emerging pathogens”.
An original WHO-led outbreak investigation was fiercely resisted by China, leading to a report concluding that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was likely transmitted to humans by a bat via another unidentified species.
But after 14 countries, including the UK, US and Australia, criticized its findings as heavily compromised, Dr Tedros admitted the report’s flaws and ordered the new process.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom reluctant to openly criticize China
The government has taken a cautious approach to assigning blame to Covid – something Chinese skeptics attribute to fear of offending Beijing.
However, US intelligence has placed the secret Wuhan lab at the center of their analysis.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed workers at the institute fell ill with Covid-like symptoms in the fall of 2019 – weeks before the alarm was raised, and said that in As part of military projects, its scientists were experimenting with a bat coronavirus very similar to the one that causes Covid.
A WHO spokesperson said: “Dr Tedros has consistently said that all hypotheses remain on the table as scientists continue their work.”