A whistleblower who worked in Wuhan has repeated claims Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high security lab specialising in coronaviruses, has long been tipped by some as the origin point of the pandemic, which killed 6,646,172 worldwide. Both China and the lab have furiously denied any allegations, but nearly three years removed from the first case of Covid-19, a whistleblower has claimed it all started from a leak.
Dr Andrew Huff, former vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, claims in his book ‘The Truth About Wuhan’ the Covid-19 pandemic was the result of the US government’s funding of dangerous genetic engineering of coronaviruses in China.
Dr Huff said the EcoHealth Alliance taught the Wuhan lab the “best existing methods to engineer bat coronaviruses to attack other species”.
The army veteran, from Michigan, claimed “China knew from day one that this was a genetically engineered agent”.
“The US government is to blame for the transfer of dangerous biotechnology to the Chinese,” Dr Huff added.
“I was terrified by what I saw. We were just handing them bioweapon technology.”
Speaking to The Sun, the whistleblower claimed EcoHealth Alliance had been studying different coronaviruses in bats for more than ten years with funding from the National Institutes of Health, and developed close working ties with the Wuhan lab.
He suggested China’s gain-of-function experiments, which he claimed were not up to standard, led to a lab leak at the US-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In an extract from his book, he said: “EcoHealth Alliance and foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, ultimately resulting in the lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
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Meanwhile, it emerged scientists including Sir Patrick Vallance were warned that Covid-19 could have evolved in laboratory animals, but shut down the theory in a paper.
Published in Nature Medicine in March 2020, ‘the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2’ argued that a natural spillover event caused the pandemic.
According to The Telegraph, emails from early 2020 show in the weeks before publication the authors held lengthy discussions with experts, including Sir Patrick and Sir Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust.
In those discussions, experts were advised that the unusual features seen in Covid-19 could have evolved in animals in a lab, as well as in the wild.
They were also warned that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been carrying out research on bat-coronaviruses with worrying levels of biosecurity.
When the paper was published, all reference to biosecurity problems in Wuhan had been removed, and the authors argued that lab evolution of the virus was unlikely.