A media report has suggested that scientists who rejected the theory that COVID-19 leaked from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were associated with the lab.
The Telegraph reported that all except one of the scientists who signed a letter published in The Lancet in March 2020 rejecting the lab-leak theory have links with Chinese researchers, their colleagues, or funders.
Twenty-seven scientists signed The Lancet letter, initiated by British zoologist Peter Daszak, effectively ending the debate about whether coronavirus was manipulated or leaked from the Chinese lab.
Daszak heads the US-based nonprofit organisation EcoHealth Alliance, which has ties to China directly. Additionally, this firm has funded research at WIV.
The signatories said they “strongly condemned the conspiracy theories” concerning the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, said the report.
Using a Freedom of Information request, it was revealed that Daszak sent an e-mail on February 8 that stated “collaborators” in China urged him to write the letter as a “show of support”.
Express.co.uk reported citing the newspaper that Daszak eventually acknowledged his involvement with the EcoHealth Alliance, but omitted to mention that five other signatories also worked for it.
In addition, three of the signatories of The Lancet letter are individuals who work for Britain’s Wellcome Trust, which has funded WIV research. Notably, Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Trust and a member of Sage, calls George Gao, the director of the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control, an “old friend”.
The report said Gao, who is also an ex-Wellcome Trust research assistant, supported Daszak’s nomination to the National Academy of Sciences.
The origin of COVID-19 remains unknown almost two years after it was first discovered in Wuhan, China. There have been several claims made by scientists and governments around the world. A recent US intelligence report was unable to determine whether the novel coronavirus jumped to humans naturally or as the result of a laboratory leak.
In the meantime, the US’ involvement has also been discussed a lot.
According to a book by Australian journalist Sharri Markson, the US cash funded the Wuhan virology lab.