MEP calls for EU special committee investigating funds to Wuhan
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Dr Alina Chan, a specialist in gene therapy and cell engineering at MIT and Harvard, told the Science and Technology Select Committee that a Wuhan lab leak may be to blame for the original outbreak. She said: “I think the lab origin is more likely than not.
“Right now it’s not safe for people who know about the origin of the pandemic to come forward.
“But we live in an era where there is so much information being stored that it will eventually come out.”
Dr Chan also warned that is possible the virus was engineered by scientists.
She added: “We have heard from many top virologists that a genetically engineered origin is reasonable and that includes virologists who made modifications to the first Sars virus.
“We know this virus has a unique feature, called the furin cleavage site, and without this feature, there is no way this would be causing this pandemic.
“A proposal was leaked showing that EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute of Virology were developing a pipeline for inserting novel furin cleavage sites.
“So, you find these scientists who said in early 2018 ‘I’m going to put horns on horses’ and at the end of 2019 a unicorn turns up in Wuhan city.”
And Dr Chan was not alone in her claims.
Also supporting this argument, Viscount Ridley, who co-authored a book on the origin of the virus alongside Dr Chan, explained to MPs why she believed this is the most reasonable explanation for COVID-19’s origins.
Lord Ridley said: “I also think it’s more likely than not because we have to face the fact after two months we knew the origins of Sars, and after a couple of months we knew Mers was though through camels, but after two years we still haven’t found a single infected animal that could be the progenitor, and that’s incredibly surprising.”
She stressed that further work needs to be done to prevent another widespread outbreak of a deadly virus.
Lord Ridley told MPs: “We need to find out so we can prevent the next pandemic. We need to know whether we should be tightening up work in laboratories or whether we should be tightening up regulations related to wildlife markets.
“At the moment we are really not doing either.
“We also need to know to deter bad actors who are watching this episode and thinking that unleashing a pandemic is something they could get away with.
“We know now that experiments were being done at biosecurity level 2 that resulted in 10,000 times increases in infectivity of viruses and three or four times their lethality. The important thing is to stop doing these experiments that are risky.”
But many dispute the claims these specialists have made.
Just one of a host of different theories, the origin of coronavirus is still not completely clear.
Michael Ryan, the head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, in response to a question about the laboratory leak theory, said: “The current situation is that all of the hypotheses regarding the origins of the virus are still on the table
“Some are more likely than others based on the current analysis, but all of those hypotheses require further elucidation and further inquiry and we will go and look where all of those leads take the WHO.”
And a US intelligence assessment three months ago was unable to say for sure whether the virus had jumped to humans via animals or escaped a highly secure research facility.
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The natural origin hypothesis argues that the virus emerged in bats and was then passed to humans, likely through an intermediary species.
But scientists have still not found a virus in either bats or another animal that matches the genetic signature of Sars-CoV-2.
Another theory claimed there was evidence of Sars-CoV-2 genetic material in the samples of eleven subjects taken before the pandemic began, with the earliest case going as far back as late summer 2019.
This suggests that the virus has already begun circulating in way before December 8, thought to be the date of the first known case in Wuhan.
While this theory has also not been proved, there are other theories just like this one that claims that the pandemic didn’t even start in Wuhan.
But is important to note that there could flaws in the data, such as false-positive results, that would disprove these theories.
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