A report on the origins of Covid-19 by a US government national laboratory has concluded that claims the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan are plausible and deserve further investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
The study drew on genomic analysis of the Covid-19 virus and was prepared in May 2020 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
It was referred to by the State Department when it conducted an inquiry into the pandemic’s origins during the final months of the Trump administration, the report said.
Lawrence Livermore declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal report.
President Joe Biden last month ordered senior aides to find answers to the origin of the virus. In response, US intelligence agencies are considering two likely scenarios: that the virus resulted from a laboratory accident, or that it emerged from human contact with an infected animal.
A still-classified US intelligence report circulated during former president Donald Trump’s administration alleged that three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became so ill in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, US government sources said.
US officials have accused China of a lack of transparency on the virus’ origin, a charge Beijing has denied.
Meanwhile, Sky News recently reported that top US infection disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has admitted that he funded “bat-human interface” research in China to avoid an outbreak in the US.
“The US funded highly dangerous coronavirus research that was once banned at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Sky reported. “That research involved creating new deadly viruses that never existed before.
“Back in 2012, when the US was considering banning gain of function research, which it later did, Fauci argued that it was important work and was even worth the risk of sparking a pandemic.”
Gain of function research (GoFR) is a term used to describe medical research which alters an organism or disease in a way that increases pathogenesis, transmissibility, or the types of hosts that a microorganism can infect.
Sky claims that, “When the pandemic exploded and the White House was sitting there wondering how it all started, Fauci did not once mention gain of function research or the other activities at the Wuhan laboratory.”
Sky alleged that Fauci is the man solely responsible for lifting the US ban on this risky research in 2017, and that it was “unthinkable” for the US to want “risky coronavirus research” conducted in China.