Tags: China | Coronavirus | covid-19 | pandemic | virology | laboratory | investigation

US Probes Malfeasance in Wuhan, China, Virology Lab


By    |   Friday, 17 April 2020 03:48 PM

The U.S. is conducting a thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and intelligence findings it began in a Wuhan, China virology lab before being spread across Wuhan and, ultimately, the globe.

Intelligence is homing in on the laboratory, putting together the timeline of how it might have infected an intern under lax safety conditions, and "creating an accurate picture of what happened," sources told Fox News on Friday.

Intelligence gathered thus far shows confidence the COVID-19 pandemic was not intended to be a biological weapon, but instead research to help China show it can beat the rest of the world in handling and dealing with coronavirus spreading from bats, U.S. officials and intelligence sources told Fox News.

Scientific evidence up to now has suggested the virus was not genetically altered and was natural, according to sources.

Previous Fox News reporting revealed the intern was accidentally infected in the lab before infecting her boyfriend at home and bringing the virus to the nearby wet market in Wuhan in the Hubei province.

The lab, run by Dr. Shi Zhengli, was researching antivirals and immunizations for coronavirus, specifically with bats, which come from the Hunan province about 100 miles away and not Hubei, suggesting the spread did not begin with animal-to humantransmission in the wet market, as China has previously claimed.

The World Health Organization had accepted China's claims, but intelligence suggests WHO is "either complicit in the cover-up, or looked the other way," according to Fox News.

"More and more we're hearing the story," Trump told Fox News' John Roberts at a coronavirus task force press briefing on Wednesday. "We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation."

For its part, China is flatly denying claims made by U.S. intelligence sources.

"The head of the WHO has stated many times that there is no evidence that the new coronavirus originated in the laboratory," deputy director of China's Foreign Ministry Information Department Zhao Lijian said. "Many prominent medical experts in the world also believe that the so-called laboratory leaks have no scientific basis."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has since told Fox News that China's not being forthcoming about its own investigation of the virus' origins is fueling skepticism over the story it is sharing.

"We know that the first sightings of this occurred within miles of the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Pompeo told the Hugh Hewitt Show on Friday, per Fox News. "We know that this – the history of the facility, the first BSL-4 lab where there's high-end virus research being conducted, took place at that site.

"We know that the Chinese Communist Party, when it began to evaluate what to do inside of Wuhan, considered whether the WIV was, in fact, the place where this came from.

"And most importantly, we know they've not permitted the world's scientists to go into that laboratory to evaluate what took place there, what's happening there, what's happening there even as we speak."

A South China University of Technology study concluded earlier this winter: "In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan."

China's accidental spread and subsequent lack of cooperation with the world would be very damaging. Not only has it killed more than 152,328 around the world, it has killed more than 35,955 Americans, sent 22 millions to the unemployment line, and erased trillions of dollars from the global economy.

Calls for China to face consequences has been shared by Trump and U.S. congressional lawmakers.

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The U.S. is conducting a thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and intelligence findings it began in a Wuhan, China virology lab before being spread across Wuhan and, ultimately, the globe.
covid-19, pandemic, virology, laboratory, investigation, intelligence, mike pompeo
Friday, 17 April 2020 03:48 PM
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