Just days after a Senate report was published outlining how the origins of Covid were more likely than not the result of a "research related incident", Beijing has gone on the defensive, blaming the lab leak theory on "anti-China forces," Bloomberg reported this weekend.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that the idea that Covid leaked from a lab in Wuhan is "nothing but a lie". According to Bloomberg, Zhao also said that China has maintained a consistent position on the origins of the virus, seemingly alluding to the idea that the virus originated in a Wuhan wet market.
China "opposes all forms of political manipulation", Zhao went on say, according to the report.
Recall, just days ago, a Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions interim report from October 27, 2022 titled “An Analysis of the Origins of the COVID19 Pandemic” revealed that the origins of Covid were more likely based in a lab as part of a “research related incident” and not zoonotic. This report came weeks after Dr. Richard Ebright of Rutgers University posted a damning chronology of circumstantial evidence that seemed to back up the lab leak theory.
The Senate report was the result of a “bipartisan Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee oversight effort into the origins of SARS-CoV-2”. It provided a lengthy analysis that reviewed “publicly available, open-source information to examine the two prevailing theories of origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus”.
Among other conclusions, the report notes: “Substantial evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a research-related incident associated with a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the report states.
“A research-related incident is consistent with the early epidemiology showing rapid spread of the virus exclusively in Wuhan with the earliest calls for assistance being located in the same district as the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) original campus in central Wuhan. The WIV is an epicenter of advanced coronavirus research, where researchers have collected samples of and experimented on high-risk coronaviruses.”
“While precedent of previous outbreaks of human infections from contact with animals favors the hypothesis that a natural zoonotic spillover is responsible for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 that resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic was most likely the result of a research-related incident.”
In other words, all of us “conspiracy theorists” floating the idea of a lab leak just because of the totally coincidental fact that the virus showed up on a virology lab’s doorstep, have now been validated by the U.S. Senate.
In a section titled “Problems with the Natural Zoonotic Hypothesis”, the report says:
“Based on precedent and genomics, the most likely scenario for a zoonotic origin of the COVID-19 pandemic is that SARS-CoV-2 crossed over the species barrier from an intermediate host to humans. However, the available evidence is also consistent, perhaps more so, with a direct bat-to-human spillover. Both scenarios remain plausible and, in the absence of additional information, should be considered equally valid hypotheses."
"However, nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, critical evidence that would prove that the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and resulting COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a natural zoonotic spillover is missing.”
“Such gaps include the failure to identify the original host reservoir, the failure to identify a candidate intermediate host species, and the lack of serological or epidemiological evidence showing transmission from animals to humans, among others outlined in this report,” the report states.
“As a result of these evidentiary gaps, it is hard to treat the natural zoonotic spillover theory as the presumptive origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Then, in the report’s conclusion, it states:
“Based on the analysis of the publicly available information, it appears reasonable to conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic was, more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident. New information, made publicly available and independently verifiable, could change this assessment. However, the hypothesis of a natural zoonotic origin no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt, or the presumption of accuracy.”
The report was signed off on by Richard Burr, United States Senator and Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.