Wednesday, September 22

Trump Allies Announce Biden’s Investigation Into the Origins of Covid in China | Coronavirus


Donald Trump’s allies took the unusual step of speaking in support of Joe Biden on Sunday, regarding efforts to identify the source of Covid-19 and find out if China knows more about the origins of the pandemic than it hints.

Biden said Thursday he was expanding an investigation into the outbreak, following a departure from earlier thinking by at least one U.S. intelligence agency that is now leaning toward the theory that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.

Michael McCaul, a Republican congressman from Texas, and Matthew Pottinger, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser who persuaded him to start using the controversial term “Wuhan virus”, both welcomed the development.

“It is absolutely essential to find out where this is coming from, it is essential for us to prevent the next pandemic, it is essential for us to better understand the variants of the current pandemic that are emerging,” Pottinger told NBC’s Meet the Press. .

“Both hypotheses that President Biden spoke of are valid, it could have come out of a laboratory, it could have come out of nature. Neither is supported by concrete evidence, but there is a growing body of circumstantial evidence to support the idea that this may have been leaked from a laboratory. “

The Wuhan laboratory theory was dismissed by many scientists and the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Trump advisers was that the weight of evidence supported natural origins. The World Health Organization said in February that it was “extremely unlikely” that Covid-19 started in a laboratory.

But the theory has gained traction.

On Thursday, the Office of the US Director of National Intelligence said: “The US intelligence community does not know exactly where, when or how the Covid-19 virus was initially transmitted, but it has coalesced around to two likely scenarios: either it arose naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident.

“While two elements of the CI lean towards the first scenario and one leans more towards the second, each with low or moderate confidence, most of the elements within the CI do not believe that there is enough information to assess that one is more likely than the other.

“The CI continues to examine all the available evidence, considering different perspectives and aggressively collecting and analyzing new information to identify the origins of the virus.”

On Sunday, a WHO-affiliated health expert who spoke to the BBC said the laboratory theory “was not out of the question” and asked the United States to share any intelligence information.

Pottinger said he believed researchers in China had more to say.

“If this came out of a lab, there are people in China who probably know about it,” he said. “China has incredible and ethical scientists, many of whom in the early stages of the pandemic suspected it was a laboratory leak. [A researcher at] the Wuhan Institute of Virology said their first thought was, “Was it a leak from my lab?”

“These people have been systematically silenced by their government. Now that the world knows how important this is, that could also provide moral value to many of these ethical scientists for whom I believe this weighs on their consciences. I think we will see more information as a result of this investigation. “

The Wall Street Journal reported Last week, three members of a laboratory staff in Wuhan fell ill with Covid-like symptoms before the first Covid patient was registered in December 2019.

McCaul, a former chairman of the House national security committee, told CNN’s State of the Union that he believed Biden’s 90-day intelligence review would likely be inconclusive because Chinese authorities “have destroyed everything in the lab. “. But he said he welcomed the new investigation.

“More likely it came out of the lab, more likely accidentally,” said McCaul, who has He argued for a long time that China and the WHO are guilty.


www.theguardian.com

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