Covid Pandemic Triggered by Accidental Leak From Wuhan Lab, US Investigation Ends
The pandemic was likely the result of a “research-related incident” at a lab in Wuhan, China, according to a detailed US Senate report.
It said that the theory that Covid-19 jumped from animals to humans at a market no longer deserved the “presumption of accuracy”.
The 300-page report issued to Axios was the full version of a 35-page summary released by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in October.
It said: “The Covid-19 pandemic was most likely the result of a research-related incident.
“New information that is publicly available and independently verifiable could change this assessment.
“However, the hypothesis of a natural zoonotic origin no longer merits the protection of legitimate expectations or the presumption of accuracy.”
The report suggested that supporters of the theory of natural transmission “must provide clear and convincing evidence” for their argument.
It concluded: “The preponderance of information confirms the plausibility of a research-related incident that was likely unintentionally due to the failure of biosafety containment during vaccine-related research.”
scientists and US intelligence agencies were shared about whether the pandemic originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology [WIV]that had collected and manipulated bat viruses, or from a natural spill at a market in Wuhan that sold live animals.
According to the report, there have been “anomalies” between Covid-19 and other diseases that have passed naturally from animals to humans.
And it said three years later no critical evidence had been found to prove there was a natural spillover.
It added that numerous places at numerous times had not seen outbreaks of the virus, as might be expected if that were the cause.
The report also found that the species of bats closest to covid-19 lived over 1,000 miles from Wuhan.
However, the lab has collected over 200 coronaviruses and employees have been photographed handling bats with inadequate protective equipment, the report said.
Scientists there were involved in research to prevent future pandemics and sought funding for the development of corona viruses, it said.
The report stated: “A research-related incident is consistent with early epidemiology [of Covid-19] shows the rapid spread of the virus in Wuhan, with the earliest calls for help occurring near WIV’s original campus in central Wuhan.
“In short, human error, mechanical failure, animal bites, animal escape, inadequate training, inadequate funding, and pressure to produce results can lead to the escape of virulent pathogens, which in turn could infect animals and humans, and lead to the release of a virus from a laboratory.”
However, the report does not offer a “final” conclusion on the origin of the pandemic.
It states: “More information is needed to arrive at a more accurate, if not definitive, understanding of the origins… and onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Governments, leaders, public health officials and scientists involved in combating the Covid-19 pandemic and preventing future pandemics must commit to greater transparency, engagement and accountability in their efforts.”
Last month Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, said covid “most likely” leaked from Wuhan lab.
Mr Wray said: “The FBI has held for some time that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential laboratory incident in Wuhan.”
The US Department of Energy has also concluded that a lab leak was the most likely cause, albeit with “low confidence”.
The Energy Department oversees a network of 17 US labs that research advanced biology.
Meanwhile, the CIA is reportedly remaining undecided between the lab leak and natural transmission theories.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said last month there was no “final answer”.
He said: “Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other, and some have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure.”