Updated July 2nd, 2022 at 06:56 IST

COVID-19 leaked from US biolab, claims Lancet's commission head; 'Not a natural spillover'

Coronavirus did not originate in the nature or animal, Sachs purported, negating the results from the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease.

Zaini Majeed
IMAGE: Unsplash | Image:self

The novel SARS-CoV-2 that caused the COVID-19 worldwide was an accidental release “out of US lab biotechnology”, the chief of the COVID-19 commission at prestigious medical journal The Lancet, Jeffrey Sachs said at a conference hosted by the think tank GATE, in Spain. The coronavirus did not originate in nature or animal, he purported, negating the results from the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease conducted from 2019.  

'It’s a blunder..'

On March 30, the World Health Organisation had released its first report that had nullified that the novel coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, Beijing, the then epicenter of the disease. However, the global health agency acknowledged that the coronavirus probably emerged in bats and then jumped off to humans via an intermediary animal. Sachs told the GATE conference, “It’s a blunder in my view of biotech, not an accident of a natural spillover."

The chair of The Lancet stressed that while “we don’t know for sure” that the leak of the virus certainly happened or it may have been any other scenario at the US bioweapons research lab, but "there is enough evidence" and it “should be looked into.” Sachs had also earlier published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with Columbia University professor of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics Neil Harrison, ascertaining that SARS-CoV-2 that caused the mounting death toll of the global population had, in fact, leaked from a bio laboratory. He demanded "transparency" from US federal agencies and universities. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci's role in funding 'gain-of-functions' research

Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was under attack for his role in funding research at a laboratory that many speculated was the one where the coronavirus leaked from. During the State of the Union interview, Biden administration's infectious diseases expert Dr Fauci admitted that the US gave the Wuhan, China lab hundreds of thousands of dollars for research. US-based EcoHealth Alliance was awarded a grant in 2014 to look into possible coronaviruses from bats.

Although Fauci refused that the gain-of-function (GOF) research was being conducted there. The National Institute of Health (NIH) also denied its role. GOF research at the labs involve a biological agent, like a virus.

Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH, told Congress that NIH "has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology." NIH, however, admitted to congress that GOF research on influenza or coronavirus has been "the subject of substantial scrutiny."

'Preponderance of evidence'

A GOP report published in August last year suggested that “a preponderance of the evidence prove that all roads [to coronavirus outbreak] lead to the Wuhan Institute of Virology” and that Chinese Communist Party of President Xi Jinping attempted the “greatest coverup of all time” by eliminating the earliest evidence of the 'lab leak'. In the 84 page document, GOP claimed that the United States ‘The House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff’ has been investigating the origins of COVID-19, and based on the material collected and analyzed by the Committee Minority Staff, the preponderance of evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from a Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory sometime prior to September 12, 2019. 

The virus, or the viral sequence that was genetically manipulated, was likely collected in a cave in Yunnan province, PRC, between 2012 and 2015—GOP report claimed. It shockingly revealed that researchers at the WIV, officials within the CCP, and “potentially American citizens” directly engaged in efforts to obfuscate information related to the origins of the coronavirus. 

"When they realised what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security,” the report stated. 

In 2014, the NIH had announced that it was pausing funding for GOF research that was "reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), or SARS viruses." US Republican Senator Rand Paul alleged that American funding went into the research labs in Beijing where scientists made contagious viruses more infectious, deadlier, a process known as "gain-of-function" to develop treatments, or vaccines.   


Published July 2nd, 2022 at 06:56 IST

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