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Discussion: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Wuhan has been working with bats and coronavirus for many years - DNA manipulations, cloning....

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  • Pathfinder
    replied
    COVID lab leak theory: Why Berkeley scientist wants answers
    ...
    By JOHN WOOLFOLK | jwoolfolk@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
    PUBLISHED: June 6, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. | UPDATED: June 6, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.
    ...
    Rasmus Nielsen, a professor of integrative biology at the UC Berkeley, was among 18 researchers from respected universities around the world who in a May 14 article in Science called for the scientific community to explore the lab-leak theory. We asked him why this is suddenly gaining interest.
    ...
    Q: Has anything new been learned this year that raises the possibility of a laboratory accident?

    A: We know much more about what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They were growing viruses on human cells, adding in elements of another virus, training viruses on human cells to see which ones are most infectious. When you’re doing that, you risk making viruses that are more infectious.
    ...
    Q: What about conflicting reports of the Wuhan lab manipulating coronaviruses with “gain-of-function” methods, in essence intentionally making the viruses more virulent, which they deny?

    A: In some sense, it’s a matter of semantics. Technically there’s no evidence of gain-of-function research, but there is evidence of genetic manipulation of coronaviruses in labs. They have published papers that showed they are working on chimeric (man-made) viruses.

    Creating a chimeric virus may not be a gain-of-function experiment. You don’t necessarily purposefully insert something into virus that you know will make it more efficient or infectious. You might simply mimic the natural way natural viruses recombine with each other.

    Q Would it be hard to tell from the virus’s genetic sequence whether it was a chimera?

    A Yes, that is right. Some ways of doing this work would leave no clear traces in the DNA (RNA) sequence.
    ...
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/06/...wants-answers/

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  • Pathfinder
    replied
    Prominent NYC scientist backtracks on COVID origin over ‘disturbing information’

    By Bruce GoldingJune 4, 2021 | 3:50pm | Updated
    ...
    Peter Palese was among 27 scientists who signed an influential statement last year in the British scientific journal The Lancet that denounced as “conspiracy theories” the notion that the coronavirus could have escaped from a lab — or even be man-made.

    But Palese — chairman of the Microbiology Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he runs a lab named after him — said he’s no longer convinced that’s the case.
    ...
    “A lot of disturbing information has surfaced since the Lancet letter I signed, so I want to see answers covering all questions.”

    Palese declined to specify that information or say what led him to sign the Lancet statement...

    https://nypost.com/2021/06/04/promin...igin-of-covid/

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  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    You are credible, like Redfield.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021...id-19s-origins

    But for most of the past year, the lab-leak scenario was treated not simply as unlikely or even inaccurate but as morally out-of-bounds. In late March, former Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield received death threats from fellow scientists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had originated in a lab. “I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield told Vanity Fair. “I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”

  • sharon sanders
    replied

    snip

    But for most of the past year, the lab-leak scenario was treated not simply as unlikely or even inaccurate but as morally out-of-bounds. In late March, former Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield received death threats from fellow scientists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had originated in a lab. “I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield told Vanity Fair. “I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021...id-19s-origins

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    At this point I feel that I can disclose that I was personally warned in the summer of 2020 to stop pushing the lab theory possibility on FluTrackers - especially my comments about "follow the money" link. I was told that my life could be made difficult. I replied that I was located far from China and "good luck" in trying to affect me. I was then further advised that I could be affected through adverse actions against my adult children. The implication was not violence but some other type of coercion which was not explained. I made light of the situation but the other party was serious and told me, "I have seen it happen."

    I decided that my family's risk was low for any interference. Apparently no one is too small to squash.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pathfinder
    replied
    From post above:

    "Wang Wenbin: The Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of sciences has issued a statement on March 23. According to the statement, the Wuhan Institute of Virology had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before December 30, 2019, and a "zero-infection" record is kept among its staff and graduate students so far."

    This is the statement:

    Translation Google

    Statement from Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Source: Wuhan Institute of Virology
    Time: 2021-03-23



      Recently, some foreign media have once again speculated that Wuhan Virus Institute may be the source of the outbreak of the new crown virus. I solemnly declare:
      Before December 30, 2019, our institute has not been exposed to the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2); so far, our employees and graduate students have maintained "zero infection" of SARS-CoV-2.

    Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences   
    March 23, 2021   


    http://www.whiov.cas.cn/tzgg_160286/...3_5981805.html
    Last edited by Pathfinder; June 4, 2021, 06:30 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pathfinder
    replied
    Originally posted by Emily View Post
    https://www.ft.com/content/ab90cdfd-...c-7aa93f6176fe
    Anthony Fauci urges China to release medical records of Wuhan lab workers
    Biden adviser calls for help on solving question of whether Covid ‘leaked’ from facility

    Kiran Stacey and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
    3 hours ago

    Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser has called on China to release the medical records of nine people whose illnesses might provide vital clues into whether Covid-19 first emerged as the result of a lab leak. Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, told the Financial Times that the records could help resolve the debate over the origins of a disease that has killed more than 3.5m people worldwide. The records in question concern three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who reportedly became sick in November 2019, and six miners who fell ill after entering a bat cave in 2012. Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology subsequently visited the cave to take samples from the bats. Three of the miners died.
    ....

    “I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019,” Fauci said. “Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with? “The same with the miners who got ill years ago . . . What do the medical records of those people say? Was there [a] virus in those people? What was it? It is entirely conceivable that the origins of Sars-Cov-2 was in that cave and either started spreading naturally or went through the lab.”...

    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on June 4, 2021
    ...
    Financial Times: Anthony Fauci has called on China to release the medical records of nine Chinese individuals, including three from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, who got sick in late 2019. Is China open to releasing the medical records?

    Wang Wenbin: The Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of sciences has issued a statement on March 23. According to the statement, the Wuhan Institute of Virology had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before December 30, 2019, and a "zero-infection" record is kept among its staff and graduate students so far.

    This January, the China-WHO joint mission made field trips to institutions including the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and visited biosafety laboratories and had in-depth and candid exchanges with experts there. Through these field trips and in-depth visits, members of the mission unanimously agreed that the hypothesis of lab leaking is extremely unlikely.

    Meanwhile, I also want to point out that there are increasingly more reports on the virus and COVID-19 pandemic being spotted in various places around the world in the second half of 2019, and that the international community is highly concerned about the questions around the biological lab at Fort Detrick and the real intentions of the US' establishment of 200-plus overseas bio-labs. We hope the US side will follow China's example, take a scientific and cooperative attitude, invite WHO experts for origin-tracing study in the US, and make a responsible explanation to the international community without further delay on the real situation of more than 200 US biological laboratories around the world, so as to make positive contribution to the humanity's early victory over the pandemic and better capabilities in dealing with public health emergencies in the future.
    ...
    Financial Times: I wanted to follow up on the question about the medical records of the nine individuals. For the six individuals from the Mojiang mine, does China have those medical records and would those be ones that could be made available? And then a second question, you said that there was no one sick with COVID-19 before December. Were there staff members who were sick with other potential illnesses? Will China be willing to release the medical records of those individuals if there are any?

    Wang Wenbin: I will take these two questions together. I have just stated China's position on relevant issue. To give you some more information, according to US media reports, in April 2020, Francis S. Collins, Director of the US National Institutes of Health, wrote to a number of heads of US research institutions, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, dismissing the Wuhan lab hypothesis as a conspiracy. Not long ago, Michael R. Gordon, an American journalist, by quoting a so-called "previously undisclosed US intelligence report," hinted a far-fetched connection between the "three sick staff" of a Wuhan lab and the COVID-19 outbreak. Nineteen years ago, it was this very reporter who concocted false information by citing unsubstantiated sources about Iraq's "attempt to acquire nuclear weapons", which directly lead to the Iraq war. Now, this same person, with similar means of falsely quoting anonymous information, hypes up the the Wuhan lab hypothesis that stretched any semblance of credibility.

    On the issue of virus origin-tracing, many experts in the international community have made scientific, rational, objective and impartial voices. For example, Peter Daszak, member of the WHO international expert group and president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit non-governmental organization, said in a recent interview with CNN, "There is no evidence that this was a virus created in a lab. There is no evidence at all that it ever was in a lab. We found about over 500 of these bat coronaviruses in collaboration with our colleagues in China. We arrange the field work. We manage the work that's done. We see all the data that comes through from the lab as soon as it's done. In fact, we've worked with the lab in Wuhan for 15 years now. We know everything they do. And we know that they do not have that virus in the lab. I've worked with this group for 15 years. I've never seen any evidence of anyone saying things that aren't true, or even hinting of anything untoward from that lab. It just did not happen." We hope those spreading the "lab-leak theory", be it individuals or media, will take seriously these objective and correct voices.

    We also hope the US side can respond to the concerns at home and abroad and give a real explanation on why it deliberately covered up the truth of the Fort Detrick lab.

    Financial Times: One more follow up from the FT. Is that a "No" to China sharing the medical records of these individuals?

    Wang Wenbin: As I pointed out just now, the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of sciences has issued a statement on March 23. According to the statement, the Wuhan Institute of Virology had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before December 30, 2019, and a "zero-infection" record is kept among its staff and graduate students so far. We believe that anyone who respects facts and truth will be able to find answers from this statement.

    https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwf...t1881482.shtml

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  • Shiloh
    replied
    Source: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-h...-media-1596958

    https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-h...-media-1596958

    Exclusive: How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media
    By Rowan Jacobsen On 6/2/21 at 2:23 PM EDT

    For most of last year, the idea that the coronavirus pandemic could have been triggered by a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China, was largely dismissed as a racist conspiracy theory of the alt-right. The Washington Post in early 2020 accused Senator Tom Cotton of "fanning the embers of a conspiracy theory that has been repeatedly debunked by experts." CNN jumped in with "How to debunk coronavirus conspiracy theories and misinformation from friends and family." Most other mainstream outlets, from The New York Times ("fringe theory") to NPR ("Scientists debunk lab accident theory"), were equally dismissive. (Newsweek was an exception, reporting in April 2020 that the WIV was involved in gain-of-function research and might have been the site of a lab leak; Mother Jones, Business Insider, the NY Post and FOX News were also exceptions.) But in the last week or so, the story has burst into the public discourse. President Joe Biden has demanded an investigation by U.S. intelligence. And the mainstream media, in an astonishing about-face, is treating the possibility with deadly seriousness.

    The reason for the sudden shift in attitudes is clear: over the weeks and months of the pandemic, the pileup of circumstantial evidence pointing to the Wuhan lab kept growing—until it became too substantial to ignore...

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Source: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...ump-china.html

    The Groupthink That Produced the Lab-Leak Failure Should Scare Liberals
    By Jonathan Chait

    As we sift through the lab-leak debacle, the good news is that the healthy antibodies in the system are still strong enough to overcome the groupthink that produced the original error. News media are investigating a hypothesis they once dismissed, and the government has announced an investigation to find the truth.

    The bad news is that the problem is turning out to be worse than it initially seemed — and worse still, the source of the failure is not going away. The implications of this episode are much broader than understanding the source of the pandemic. It is a question about whether institutions like the media and government can withstand the pressure of ideological conformity...






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  • sharon sanders
    replied
    bump this

    Leave a comment:


  • Emily
    replied
    Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post
    Seems the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Wuhan has been working with bats for many years...before the BSL4 lab opened.



    J Gen Virol. 2006 Nov;87(Pt 11):3355-9.

    Full-length genome sequences of two SARS-like coronaviruses in horseshoe bats and genetic variation analysis.

    Ren W1, Li W, Yu M, Hao P, Zhang Y, Zhou P, Zhang S, Zhao G, Zhong Y, Wang S, Wang LF, Shi Z. Author information

    1 State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China.


    Abstract


    Bats were recently identified as natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronavirus (SL-CoV) or SARS coronavirus-like virus. These viruses, together with SARS coronaviruses (SARS-CoV) isolated from human and palm civet, form a distinctive cluster within the group 2 coronaviruses of the genus Coronavirus, tentatively named group 2b (G2b). In this study, complete genome sequences of two additional group 2b coronaviruses (G2b-CoVs) were determined from horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (G2b-CoV Rf1) and Rhinolophus macrotis (G2b-CoV Rm1). The bat G2b-CoV isolates have an identical genome organization and share an overall genome sequence identity of 88-92 % among themselves and between them and the human/civet isolates. The most variable regions are located in the genes encoding nsp3, ORF3a, spike protein and ORF8 when bat and human/civet G2b-CoV isolates are compared. Genetic analysis demonstrated that a diverse G2b-CoV population exists in the bat habitat and has evolved from a common ancestor of SARS-CoV. PMID: 17030870 DOI: 10.1099/vir.0.82220-0


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17030870

    R. macrotis is found in Hubei.
    Baric Fang civet HIV paper.jpg





















    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17314167/
    Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1900161/

    J Virol. 2007 May; 81(9): 4694–4700.
    Published online 2007 Feb 21. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02389-06


    PMCID: PMC1900161
    PMID: 17314167

    Natural Mutations in the Receptor Binding Domain of Spike Glycoprotein Determine the Reactivity of Cross-Neutralization between Palm Civet Coronavirus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

    Li Liu,1 Qing Fang,1 Fei Deng,2 Hanzhong Wang,2 Christopher E. Yi,1 Lei Ba,1 Wenjie Yu,1 Richard D. Lin,1 Taisheng Li,3 Zhihong Hu,2 David D. Ho,1 Linqi Zhang,1,3 and Zhiwei Chen1,*

    Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer
    Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10016,1 State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubei 430071, People's Republic of China,2 AIDS Research Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, People's Republic of China3
    *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10016.
    Abstract


    The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002 and 2003 occurred as a result of zoonotic transmission. Coronavirus (CoV) found in naturally infected palm civet (civet-CoV) represents the closest genetic relative to SARS-CoV, but the degree and the determinants of cross-neutralization among these viruses remain to be investigated. Studies indicate that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV spike (S) glycoprotein contains major determinants for viral entry and neutralization. We aim to characterize the impact of natural mutations within the RBDs of civet-CoVs on viral entry and cross-neutralization. In this study, the S glycoprotein genes were recovered from naturally infected civets in central China (Hubei province), extending the geographic distribution of civet-CoV beyond the southeastern province of Guangdong. Moreover, pseudoviruses generated in our laboratory with four civet S genes, each with a distinct RBD, infected cells expressing human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, but with 90 to 95% less efficiency compared to that of SARS-CoV. These four civet S genes were also constructed as DNA vaccines to immunize mice. Immunized sera elicited against most civet S glycoproteins displayed potent neutralizing activities against autologous viruses but were much less efficient (50% inhibitory concentration, 20- to 40-fold) at neutralizing SARS-CoV and vice versa. Convalescence-phase sera from humans were similarly ineffective against the dominant civet pseudovirus. Our findings suggest that the design of SARS vaccine should consider not only preventing the reemergence of SARS-CoV but also providing cross-protection, thus interrupting zoonotic transmission of a group of genetically divergent civet CoVs of broad geographic origin.




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  • Emily
    replied
    https://www.ft.com/content/ab90cdfd-...c-7aa93f6176fe
    Anthony Fauci urges China to release medical records of Wuhan lab workers
    Biden adviser calls for help on solving question of whether Covid ‘leaked’ from facility

    Kiran Stacey and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
    3 hours ago

    Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser has called on China to release the medical records of nine people whose illnesses might provide vital clues into whether Covid-19 first emerged as the result of a lab leak. Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, told the Financial Times that the records could help resolve the debate over the origins of a disease that has killed more than 3.5m people worldwide. The records in question concern three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who reportedly became sick in November 2019, and six miners who fell ill after entering a bat cave in 2012. Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology subsequently visited the cave to take samples from the bats. Three of the miners died.
    ....

    “I would like to see the medical records of the three people who are reported to have got sick in 2019,” Fauci said. “Did they really get sick, and if so, what did they get sick with? “The same with the miners who got ill years ago . . . What do the medical records of those people say? Was there [a] virus in those people? What was it? It is entirely conceivable that the origins of Sars-Cov-2 was in that cave and either started spreading naturally or went through the lab.”...

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  • Pathfinder
    replied

    A scientist adventurer and China’s ‘Bat Woman’ are under scrutiny as coronavirus lab-leak theory gets another look

    June 3, 2021 at 4:00 a.m. CST
    ...
    The silencing of scientists, the blanket denials, the careful guarding of raw data and biological samples — these elements have been emblematic of the approach by Chinese authorities at every stage of the coronavirus outbreak. And they continue to obstruct the world’s ability to get answers.
    ...
    Wuhan’s two rival teams of exotic bat disease specialists are now under renewed scrutiny. Tian’s team at the Wuhan CDC and Shi Zhengli’s at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) have both drawn criticism for a willingness to compromise safety, as they raced to make discoveries.

    The Wuhan CDC and WIV did not reply to requests for comment, nor did Tian or Shi. An unnamed staffer who answered the phone Tuesday at the Wuhan CDC said the center did not accept interviews and directed questions to the National Health Commission. The NHC did not reply to a request for comment.

    China’s Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Washington declined to answer questions for this article.
    ...
    Shi kept a low profile at the pandemic’s onset, with her occasional interventions reflecting the pressures on her team. On Feb. 2, 2020, she posted to friends on WeChat that she “swore on her life” her lab was not involved in the outbreak. Three months later, she followed up with a post denying rumors she had defected to the West with intelligence files, as reported in the state-run Global Times.

    As questions about the WIV intensified, Shi wrote a lengthy statement to Science magazine in July. She wrote that it was impossible for the coronavirus to have come from the WIV, as her team had not come across this strain in its research, and all staffers had tested negative for coronavirus antibodies. Shi said her team had “never been in contact with or studied this virus, nor [knew] of its existence” before the pandemic.

    But she also acknowledged the lab had not done genome sequencing of all its samples, because of financial and personnel constraints. She declined to say how many samples remained unsequenced.
    ...
    Tian is by title an associate chief technician in the Wuhan CDC’s pest-control department, but he has a reputation as a swaggering adventurer in his work with bats and insects.
    ...
    Using nets and traps, Tian’s team caught 155 bats in Hubei, his home province, and hundreds more in other regions for a 2013 study. He was part of a team that discovered 1,445 new RNA viruses in invertebrate animals, published in the elite journal Nature in 2016.
    ...
    On Feb. 3, 2020, Tian’s team landed in the pages of Nature again, with an early clinical account of a coronavirus patient in Wuhan. Their paper pointed to bats as a possible host.

    But as the coronavirus spread, Tian went quiet. The state-run newspaper Health Times cited an anonymous source in March 2020 saying Tian was not infected with coronavirus, and that he was in poor spirits because of speculation over whether he was patient zero.

    The Health Times said it reached Tian by phone and he declined to answer questions — an unusual note of tension in a state media profile. Tian has not spoken publicly since.
    ...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...c48_story.html

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  • Pathfinder
    replied
    From the article posted above by Tetano:

    "In the exchange, Fauci thanks the zoologist and head of the controversial virus research nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, for commending him for publicly dismissing the lab-leak theory."

    This is the email:



    https://twitter.com/sarahcwestwood/s...204298/photo/1

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  • tetano
    replied

    During an interview with CNN Thursday, Fauci was asked about an exchange he had with a British disease expert who worked with the lab in question—the Wuhan Institute of Virology—in April 2020.

    The email exchange was made public after the Washington Postand Buzzfeed News obtained Fauci’s messages through a FOIA request and published a trove of them this week.

    In the exchange, Fauci thanks the zoologist and head of the controversial virus research nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, for commending him for publicly dismissing the lab-leak theory.

    Fauci on Thursday called it “nonsense” that Republicans have latched on to the emails, claiming he was not saying anything then that he would not say now.

    “I have always said . . . that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,” Fauci maintained.

    Fauci said he was going to keep an “open mind” about the possibility of a lab leak, but still believed animal-to-human transmission was most likely.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbre...h=35d8ace01821


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  • sharon sanders
    commented on 's reply
    I am not going to engage in any more arguing with you on this topic. The above quote is from this thread, post #80, dated April 28, 2020. At that time you said: "Sharon while we have been in disagreement on some aspects of China's performance that is a excellent resume and very well argued, kudos." So.....

  • Pathfinder
    replied
    COVID origin: Evidence of lab leak that may have caused coronavirus would have been destroyed by China, ex-MI6 chief says
    ...
    Thursday 3 June 2021 14:52, UK
    ...
    Sir Richard Dearlove, who was in charge of the secret intelligence service between 1999 and 2004, said it would now be difficult to prove the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was working on experiments to make a coronavirus that would be more deadly to humans.
    ...
    Sir Richard said the West had been naive in trusting China, which had infiltrated scientific institutions and journals in the UK and elsewhere.

    And he also told The Daily Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast that it was possible Chinese scientists who wanted to speak out about any coronavirus experiments had been "silenced".

    "The People's Republic of China is a pretty terrifying regime and does some things we consider unacceptable and extreme in silencing opposition to the official line of the government," he said.
    ...
    Sir Richard added that the World Health Organisation was "a lost cause" and should not be left to look rigorously into the origins of the virus to provide "a clear understanding of what the hell happened".

    https://news.sky.com/story/covid-ori...-says-12323900

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