Explosive new report claims virus 'came from China lab'

·2-min read

A preponderance of evidence proves the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, says a new report by US Republicans - a conclusion that US intelligence agencies have not reached.

The report released on Monday also cited "ample evidence" that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists - aided by US experts and Chinese and US government funds - were working to modify coronaviruses to infect humans and such manipulation could be hidden.

Representative Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the report by the panel's Republican staff. It urged a bipartisan investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic that has killed 4.4 million people worldwide.

MACAU, CHINA - JANUARY 28: Residents wearing face masks purchase seafood at a wet market on January 28, 2020 in Macau, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 4000 in mainland China Tuesday as health officials locked down the city of Wuhan last week in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities put travel restrictions on the city which is the epicentre of the virus and neighbouring municipalities affecting tens of millions of people.  At least six people have reportedly contracted the virus in Macau. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 100 on Tuesday and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.  (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
The report says the 'wet market' theory can be put to rest due to evidence of the virus being created in a lab. Source: Getty/File

China denies a genetically modified coronavirus leaked from the facility in Wuhan - where the first Covid-19 cases were detected in 2019 - a leading but unproven theory among some experts. Beijing also denies allegations of a cover-up.

Other experts suspect the pandemic was caused by an animal virus likely transmitted to humans at a seafood market near the WIV.

"We now believe it's time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source," said the report.

"We also believe the preponderance of the evidence proves the virus did leak from the WIV and that it did so sometime before September 12, 2019."

The report cited what it called new and under-reported information about safety protocols at the lab, including a July 2019 request for a $US1.5 million ($A2 million) overhaul of a hazardous waste treatment system for the facility, which was less than two years old.

Doctor in protective gloves & workwear holding open test tube and taking out sampling swab for novel Covid-19 test in laboratory.
Doctor in protective gloves & workwear holding open test tube and taking out sampling swab for novel Covid-19 test in laboratory.

In April, the top US intelligence agency said it concurred with the scientific consensus that the virus was not man-made or genetically modified.

President Joe Biden in May ordered US intelligence agencies to accelerate their hunt for the origins of the virus and report back in 90 days.

A source familiar with current intelligence assessments said the US intelligence community has not reached any conclusion whether the virus came from animals or the WIV.

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