The former head of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the chance Covid-19 originated from a laboratory can't be ruled out.
That said, George Gao - who headed China's CDC during the pandemic - also said that Chinese officials have investigated the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and found no "wrongdoing" in the lab.
Gao told BBC Radio 4: "You can always suspect anything," adding "That's science. Don't rule out anything."
2. "Risky"— Billy Bostickson 🏴👁&👁 🆓 (@BillyBostickson) May 30, 2023
On the surface, Prof Gao's comments about not ruling out a lab leak appear seriously at odds with China's publicly stated position. Risky even.
"We really don't know where the virus came from… the question is still open," Prof Gao told the BBC
When asked about the WIV, where US-funded scientists were genetically manipulating Covid strains to be more transmissible to humans, Gao said the lab was "double-checked by the experts in the field," (who would never lie, we're sure).
"I think their conclusion is that they are following all the protocols. They haven’t found [any] wrongdoing," Gao continued in what marks the first public confirmation from a Chinese official that an investigation was conducted at the lab.
Last month, Gao told a London pandemic summit that there's been "no evidence which animals [were] where the virus comes [from]," after an international group of scientists posited a laughable theory about raccoon dogs and Covid-19 in Wuhan.
The alleged investigation was carried out by a "government" department, and didn't involve China's CDC, he continued, without naming said department.
More than three years have passed since SARS-CoV-2 caused a global pandemic that resulted in some 7 million deaths, but the world is still none the wiser regarding the origin of the virus.
One theory is that the virus originated from bats, but views differ on how it became transmissible among humans.
Some believe the virus was passed on to humans by some sort of intermediary animal hosts, while others believe it more likely leaked from a lab, particularly the WIV, which has been researching bat viruses and is located in the centre of Wuhan, where the pandemic began.
The Chinese regime has repeatedly dismissed the theory that the virus was leaked from the WIV, but its lack of transparency has fuelled more suspicion. -Epoch Times
The US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic wants to question Gao and other officials regarding the origin of the virus. The committee has also asked to speak with Dr. Shi Zhengli, director of WIV’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases; Drs. Ben Hu and Huang Yanling, researchers at the institute; and Dr. Chen Wei, a general in the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army who took over the lab in February 2020.
In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that the bureau believes Covid-19 most likely came from a lab - a conclusion also reached by the US Department of Energy.