Covid ‘cover-up’: Report claims virus DID escape from Wuhan lab months before first case
Mike Pompeo calls on China to 'come clean' on Wuhan lab
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And senior Republican Mike McCaul has claimed the coronavirus may have been in circulation in August – four months before it officially emerged. The dossier, prepared by Republicans serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, claims there is “preponderance of evidence” showing the virus which caused the pandemic originated in a lab and had leaked out as a result of a bungled attempt to improve air safety systems – a conclusion not currently shared by the country’s intelligence agencies.
Mr McCaul, the committee’s top Republican, unveiled the document today, urging a bipartisan investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 4.4 million people worldwide.
China has steadfastly denied a genetically modified coronavirus leaked from the facility in Wuhan – the region where the first COVID-19 cases were detected in 2019.
Nevertheless, it remains a leading but unproven theory among some experts.
Beijing also denies allegations of a cover-up.
Other experts believe the pandemic was caused by an animal virus likely transmitted to humans at a seafood market near the facility.
The report claims: “We now believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source.
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“We also believe the preponderance of the evidence proves the virus did leak from the WIV and that it did so sometime before September 12, 2019.”
The document cites what it calls new and under-reported information about safety protocols at the lab, including a July 2019 request for a $1.5million overhaul of a hazardous waste treatment system for the facility, which was less than two years old.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mr McCaul said: “It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019.
“When they realised what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1million for additional security.
“But their cover-up was too late – the virus was already spreading throughout the megacity of Wuhan.
“Within a month, satellite images show a significant uptick in the number of people at hospitals around the WIV with symptoms similar to COVID-19.”
He added: “At the same time, athletes at the Military World Games became sick with symptoms similar to COVID-19.
“Some of them carried the virus back to their home countries – creating one of the earliest super spreader events in the world, and explaining how countries who participated in the games had reported cases as early as November 2019.”
In April, the top US intelligence agency said it concurred with the scientific consensus that the virus was not man-made or genetically modified.
US President Joe Biden in May ordered intelligence agencies to accelerate their hunt for the origins of the virus and report back in 90 days.
A source familiar with current intelligence assessments said the US intelligence community has not reached any conclusion whether the virus came from animals or the WIV.
Almost 200 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since the start of last year.
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