The former head of British intelligence said this week that if COVID-19 did originate in a Chinese lab, the government would have destroyed any evidence, The Telegraph reports.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of Great Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, from 1999 to 2004, told the Telegraph’s "Planet Normal" podcast that it would be very difficult to prove if COVID-19 came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as some have speculated.
Dearlove said that the West had been naïve to trust China, and said that scientists in the country who want to speak out about any experiments could have been "silenced," noting that "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 added, "We don't know that's what's happened, but a lot of data has probably been destroyed or made to disappear so it's going to be difficult to prove definitely the case for a 'gain of function chimera' being the cause of the pandemic."
Dearlove also said that he felt the scientific community had exhibited "extraordinary behavior" by having "shut down any debate" about the origins of COVID-19, which he described as nearing "academic bullying," that may have allowed China to be "let off the hook."
He said that the "whole argument" changed after President Joe Biden called for further investigations into the origins of the virus, a decision Dearlove agreed with.
"This is why scientific analysis is now so important because although that can’t prove the case 100%, the thorough biochemical analysis puts the weight of evidence to this being a man-made lab experiment, a natural virus that has been enhanced," the former spy chief said.
Dearlove also hit out at former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and his chancellor, George Osborne, saying they displayed "sheer naivety," in trusting China.
"Some of the things that were said by George Osborne and David Cameron about our relationship with China - how we were going to have this privileged position - I was staggered at the time by the sheer naivety that they could develop a relationship with China without understanding they were dealing with a communist dictatorship, and one that has its own strategic agenda," he said.
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