Wuhan lab 'still conducting the same research' as more deadly viruses could escape

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US intelligence agencies are examining reports that researchers at a Chinese virology laboratory were seriously ill in 2019 a month before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, according to US government sources who cautioned that there is still no proof the disease originated at the lab. Former CIA director Mike Pompeo has claimed that Wuhan Institute of Virology is “covering up” the outbreak of Covid-19. He added that there is “enormous evidence” that the disease escaped the lab.

Speaking to Fox News, Mr Pompeo said: “What I can say for sure is this: we know that they were engaged in efforts connected to the People’s Liberation Army inside of that laboratory, so military activity being performed alongside what they claimed was just good old civilian research.

“They refuse to tell us what it was, they refuse to describe the nature of either of those, they refuse to allow access to the World Health Organization.

“That coverup alone suggests that there’s a lot more that we need to know.

“That virology lab is still up and running. It’s still probably conducting the same kinds of research it was conducting that may have well led to this virus escaping from that laboratory.

READ MORE: China crisis: Xi Jinping ‘could be overthrown’ over Wuhan lab leak

“Only the Chinese Communist Party knows the answer, the world deserves the answers and they have to tell us, I hope there will be bipartisan push to demand and hold accountable.”

President Joe Biden ordered aides to find answers to the origin of the virus that causes Covid.

Mr Biden said intelligence agencies are considering two likely scenarios but still lack strong confidence in their conclusions and are hotly debating which is more probable.

The conclusions were detailed in a report to Biden, who asked his team in March to detail whether the novel coronavirus “emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident,” according to the president’s written statement.

China’s embassy in the United States said late on Thursday that politicizing the issue would hamper investigations into the origins of COVID-19.

China supports “a comprehensive study of all early cases of COVID-19 found worldwide and a thorough investigation into some secretive bases and biological laboratories all over the world,” the embassy said in remarks attributed to a spokesperson, posted on its website.

The pandemic has killed more than 3 million people worldwide and battered the global economy because of lockdowns and other restrictions to slow its spread. The origin of the virus remains contested among experts. The first known cases emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

In a report issued in March and written jointly with Chinese scientists, a World Health Organization-led team that spent four weeks in and around Wuhan in January and February said the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that “introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”



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