Covid ‘may have leaked out of Wuhan lab’, top Government adviser Sir John Bell claims

Covid could well have leaked out of a Chinese laboratory, one of the Government’s most trusted pandemic experts sensationally claimed today.

Sir John Bell, who served as Boris Johnson‘s testing tsar, was grilled by MPs about his thoughts on the origins of the pandemic.

He admitted it was ‘quite possible’ that the virus leaked out of the infamous site in Wuhan, the city where Covid first emerged three years ago.

But Sir John, who was also an early member of the vaccines taskforce, said it’s unlikely that scientists will ever know the truth.

Sir John Bell, who served as Boris Johnson's testing tsar, was grilled by MPs about his thoughts on the origins of the pandemic. He admitted it was'quite possible' that the virus leaked out of the infamous site in Wuhan, the city where Covid first emerged three years ago

Sir John Bell, who served as Boris Johnson's testing tsar, was grilled by MPs about his thoughts on the origins of the pandemic. He admitted it was'quite possible' that the virus leaked out of the infamous site in Wuhan, the city where Covid first emerged three years ago

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and a member of the health committee,c

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and a member of the health committee,c

Sir John Bell (left), who served as Boris Johnson’s testing tsar, was grilled by MPs about his thoughts on the origins of the pandemic. He admitted it was ‘quite possible’ that the virus leaked out of the infamous site in Wuhan, the city where Covid first emerged three years ago. Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and a member of the health committee, said the ‘international community’, backed up by the World Health Organization, was ‘very, very quick’ to dismiss the lab leak theory. He said it may have impacted the global response because ‘we weren’t aware as quickly as we might have been’ about the Covid outbreak

Some say it's possible the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where researchers were conducting controversial research on the world's most dangerous pathogens

Some say it's possible the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where researchers were conducting controversial research on the world's most dangerous pathogens

 Some say it’s possible the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where researchers were conducting controversial research on the world’s most dangerous pathogens

The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)

The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)

The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)

Since China originally alerted the world to a mysterious virus circulating in Wuhan in December 2019, debate has been raging over its true source. 

China has repeatedly insisted the virus spilled naturally into humans from bats, with most scientists agreeing Covid most likely had natural origins.  

But some say it’s possible the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where researchers were conducting controversial research on the world’s most dangerous pathogens.

China insisted early and often that the virus did not leak from the lab, claiming that crossover to humans must have occurred at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sold live animals.

Perhaps driven by animosity for then-US President Donald Trump, who embraced the lab leak theory early on, mainstream media and academics in the West heaped scorn on the possibility, calling it an unhinged conspiracy theory.

Sir John was asked about the debate in the debate as part of the Government inquiry into lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic, hosted by the Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee.

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and a member of the health committee, asked: ‘The origins of this virus are still unclear.

‘Do you have a view, with a little bit of benefit of reflection, as to how quickly the scientific community across the world dismissed the lab leak theory and whether that had an impact on our ability to respond to this?’ 

Sir John said: ‘I think this debate about where the virus actually came from is going to go on and on and I doubt that we’ll ever have a definitive answer.

‘I think it is quite possible that there was an accidental leak out of the lab in Wuhan. 

‘And to be honest, handling highly pathogenic viruses, in any controlled circumstances, has got a lot of risks associated with it.’

He pointed to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Surrey in 2007, which spread to two farms and saw 600 cattle slaughtered. It was caused by a leak from The Pirbright Institute. 

And smallpox leaked from a laboratory at the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1978, leading to the death of medical photographer Janet Parker, whose office was in the same building. 

Sir John said: ‘These things, they do happen. 

‘But I don’t think where this [Covid] came from is going to make any difference, would have made any difference, to how we managed the pandemic. 

‘I think it was what it was and I’m not sure we should spend a whole lot of time going back worrying about it. 

He added: ‘There are lots of sources of very serious pathogens, which only, I suspect, need a few mutations before they can migrate into a naive human population. 

While China has insisted the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians and the media have contemplated the possibility it leaked from a high-level biochemical lab in Wuhan - raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread

While China has insisted the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians and the media have contemplated the possibility it leaked from a high-level biochemical lab in Wuhan - raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread

While China has insisted the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians and the media have contemplated the possibility it leaked from a high-level biochemical lab in Wuhan – raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread

‘And the avian flus are the obvious ones — that’s what I thought this pandemic was likely to be, was avian flu. They carry mortality of 20, 30, 40 per cent. 

‘So what we’ve been through with a case-fatality rate of above 0.8 per cent is pretty small compared to what you’d get if you got a really pathogenic virus that caused a lot more trouble.’

But Mr Brine said the ‘international community’, backed up by the World Health Organization, was ‘very, very quick’ to dismiss the lab leak theory. 

He said it may have impacted the global response because ‘we weren’t aware as quickly as we might have been’. 

‘You may be right that China will never fess up to that, but surely as a world community should we not have higher standards than a conspiracy of silence around something that has killed hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens?’ Mr Brine said.

Sir John said: ‘Whether this came out of the Wuhan lab or not, we’ve got to have the highest possible standards when we’re holding pathogens in containment sites around the world. 

‘That’s an obvious place where they’re going to leak from. 

‘But I also on that basis don’t think we should dismiss the idea that there can be animal to human spread of pathogens that could also cause quite serious problems.

‘And, of course, the avian flus are an example where there is animal to human spread, there just isn’t a chain of human to human spread following that.

‘But that only requires a few mutations to happen. So I think we need to be conscious of both sources of transmission across the animal barrier, either via labs or directly and that should be way we approach it.’

China’s official pandemic timeline of the coronavirus pandemic and the evidence that undermines it

Official timeline 

Dec 8, 2019 – Earliest date that China has acknowledged an infection

Dec 31 – China first reported ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ to the World Health Organisation

Jan 1, 2020 – Wuhan seafood market closed for disinfection

Jan 7 – President Xi Jinping discusses coronavirus outbreak with his politburo 

Jan 9 – China makes public the genome of the coronavirus 

Jan 11 – China reported its first death 

Jan 13 – First case outside China is confirmed

Jan 20 – China’s National Health Commission confirms human-to-human transmission  

Jan 23 – Wuhan locked down

Jan 31 – WHO declared ‘outbreak of international concern’ as China admitted having thousands of cases

Feb 23 – Italy reports cluster of cases in first major outbreak in the West  

May 29 – China claims virus did not originate in wet markets but in Chinese bats before it jumped to humans via an ‘intermediary animal’

July 31 – Chinese researcher admits some coronavirus experiments conducted in lower biosafety labs

Dec 16 – WHO announces it will travel to Wuhan to probe origins of virus in January

Jan 5, 2021 – China denies entry to WHO’s investigatory team

Feb 9 – WHO dismisses theory virus leaked from lab – backs China’s claim it was imported from frozen meat

Mar 28 – Former US national security officials says intel shows ‘there was a direct order from Beijing to destroy all viral samples’ at Wuhan lab   

New evidence 

2012: Six miners struck down with  with a mysterious flu-like illness in Mojiang cave in Yunnan.

They were found to have been infected with the closest known relative to Covid, sharing 97% of its genes.

Samples RATG13 are sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to be studied. 

Sep 2019– Blood samples are taken in a lung cancer screening trial in Italy which later test positive for coronavirus

Oct Whistleblower Wei Jingsheng claims China deliberately spread Covid at The World Military Games in Wuhan in October, two months before the rest of the world knew about the virus  

Oct – Xi Jinping’s authoritarian regime tried desperately to shut down whistle-blowers like Mr Jingsheng. Any references made in social media about a new SARS virus or ‘outbreak’ were censored 

Oct-Dec – Rise in ‘flu and pneumonia’ cases in northern Italy which could be linked to coronavirus 

Nov – Whistleblower Mr Jingsheng claims he took his concerns about the military games to senior figures within the Trump administration but was ignored

Nov – Intelligence report passed to agencies in Washington claims three members of staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital treatment in November 2019 after experiencing symptoms consistent with Covid 

Nov – Sewage samples taken in Florianópolis, Brazil, suggest virus was present

Nov 10 – Milanese woman has a skin biopsy, producing a sample which later shows signs of the virus  

Nov 17 – Leaked documents suggest case detected in China on this date

Dec – Doctors in China, including Li Wenliang, report existance of new type of respiratory infection. But Chinese police arrested him and eight of his colleagues for questioning – instead of publicising reports and warning public 

Dec 1 – Chinese researchers report an infection on this date in a peer-reviewed study, but it has not been acknowledged by Beijing 

Dec 18 – Sewage samples taken in Milan and Turin suggest virus was circulating in the cities  

Dec 26 – Samples analysed suggested a new type of SARS was circulating as early as December 26, but Wuhan was not locked down until January 22 

Jan 2020 – Sewage samples from Barcelona suggest virus was in the city

Jan 3 – Covid-19 infections begin sweeping across other nations including the U.S. as the WHO labelled the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern 

May – Scientists at a government lab in California concluded that Covid-19 may have escaped from a facility in Wuhan 

July – WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said China failed share vital raw data during their investigation in Wuhan. China rebuffed those claims

June 2021: Leading US virus expert Dr Anthony Fauci was warned Covid may have been engineered in a lab, emails publicly released reveal.  

August: The world’s first Covid-19 patient may have been infected by a bat while working for a Wuhan lab in China, WHO chief Dr Peter Embarek said

August: A damning report by Republicans in the US claims coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, shortly after the facility tried to improve air safety and waste treatment systems

The report also cited ‘ample evidence’ that lab scientists were working to modify coronaviruses to infect humans and such manipulation could be hidden.

October: US intelligence review into origins of pandemic does not reach a judgement on whether the virus emerged via animal-to-human transmission or a lab leak.

Chinese officials branded the report ‘political and false’. 

January 2022: Leaked emails from top UK scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar showed he admitted in February 2020 that it was a ‘likely explanation’ that the virus could be man-made. But he went on to brand the theory a ‘conspiracy’. 

February: Sir Farrar is called to be interviewed under oath at the US Congress. Officials want him to explain why he shifted away from the lab leak theory. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/covid-may-have-leaked-out-of-wuhan-lab-top-government-adviser-sir-john-bell-claims/ Covid ‘may have leaked out of Wuhan lab’, top Government adviser Sir John Bell claims

Brian Ashcraft

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