America is set to come up with dramatic new evidence that the virus leaked from a Wuhan laboratory – in the final act of the Trump administration.
Senior officials in Washington say outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will conduct a "bombing intervention."
They say he will provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 did not naturally jump from bats, psoriasis, or other species to humans.
Instead, he will claim that it was cultivated by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – where Chinese and foreign experts have been warning of poor biosecurity for years.
The UK Foreign Office and security forces confirmed they were awaiting the Washington demands, but denied them in advance, saying, "Any credible scientific evidence does not suggest a leak from the laboratory."
The researchers work in a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
Pictured: Virologists work in the P4 laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in central China
They said that view was backed by intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic, adding, "The established US intelligence view suggests that the pandemic was natural."
Yesterday, Boris Johnson supported the theory that the virus first infected people in the Wuhan wet market, where pangolins were among the live species on offer.
But Mr. Pompeo will also cite close ties between the Institute and the People's Liberation Army.
He will point out that the Supreme Security Division has always had a military and civil dual purpose.
He is also expected to accuse the World Health Organization of helping to cover up China by refusing to investigate the lab's possible role.
The ten-person team tasked with investigating the causes of the pandemic will arrive in Wuhan tomorrow – however, the laboratory is not mentioned in its official specifications.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was "important" that the WHO team investigate the institute as a possible source of the pandemic.
He said, "We don't know if this virus was produced naturally or artificially, and if it came from the laboratory, if it was an accident or if it was an accident." It would be immoral and stupid to allow any kind of cover-up.
Investigation: Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was "important" that the WHO team investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China (pictured) as the possible origin of the Covid pandemic
"If the virus turns out to be from the laboratory, China will become a pariah of the world."
China expert Sam Armstrong of the Henry Jackson Society think tank said: “The world has a right to know exactly what was going on before this deadly pandemic hit. The question cannot be avoided. "
Dr. Alina Chan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, who investigated the start of the pandemic, pointed out that Beijing has already discarded the theory that wildlife is the source of the wet market.
She said, “It is vital that we locate the source if this is not to happen again.
"We need to take the necessary steps to conduct a proper investigation and based on the information available, I do not believe WHO is up to the task."
David Relman, a professor of microbiology at Stanford University in California, has raised concerns that the institute has genetically engineered natural viruses in ways that make them more transmissible.
Boris Johnson in a Protect The Pangolin T-shirt in 2018 while jogging with then Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
In a scientific article in November he wrote: "If SARS-CoV-2 escapes a laboratory to start the pandemic, it becomes important to understand the chain of events and prevent it from happening again."
In 2018, US officials visited the Wuhan laboratory and warned of a "serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators."
Chinese reports show that before 2019, communist leaders warned of lax management and biosecurity.
New safety guidelines were issued in January of last year – when the pandemic was already raging.
The P4 department with the highest security of the laboratory was set up with French help in a contract signed by Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. After its opening in 2015, the French contingent was driven out by the Chinese military because of its work there.
A WHO spokesman said of his investigation: "We will follow science."
All evidence points to cover-up … (but the truth cannot stay hidden forever)
Commentary from Edward Lucas
Secrets, lies and brawls are the hallmarks of the communist regime in China. And all three are united in the secret of the devastating Wuhan virus.
The strongest evidence of a crime is a cover-up. And the Chinese authorities have planned that.
They fought fiercely to prevent an international investigation into the origins of the pandemic.
Your repeated obstruction of the World Health Organization information missions has even provoked this notoriously supine body to protest.
Even now, WHO investigators are being denied access to the vital laboratory in Wuhan, which is likely to be the focus of American allegations.
Experts have been questioning the events of the Chinese authorities for a year. Now, it appears Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to bring a direct charge.
Was it really a pure coincidence that the virus first attacked humanity in the only city in China with a research laboratory that specializes in manipulating the world's most dangerous viruses?
That would be as strange as a new disease emerging around Britain's top secret biological defense research facility in Porton Down in Wiltshire.
To date, scientists who support the theory that the virus is a mutation that emerged from Wuhan's “wet market” have not been able to find a compelling candidate for the animal in which the mutation actually occurred.
The official explanation is that the new virus was 96 percent identical to the RaTG13 bat virus found in southern China's Yunnan Province.
But as the Chinese professor Botao Xiao pointed out in a newspaper in February, such bats are not sold in the city's markets. And the caves they live in are hundreds of miles away.
The paper has disappeared from the internet. Mr. Xiao, perhaps aware of the fate awaiting those in China who promote inconvenient truths, has refused.
Many scientists privately assumed that a rigged virus released by a laboratory accident was at least as likely as the idea of a series of surprisingly unfortunate random mutations.
The virologist Shi Zhengli in the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei
After all, Shi Zhengli, the Chinese scientist nicknamed "Bat Woman", was a regular visitor to these caves. When the news of the outbreak broke, she initially feared that a leak in her research institute was to blame.
This thought alone should have led to a comprehensive and searching investigation. Instead, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a dictation: "Any paper tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and strictly administered."
But even the Chinese regime cannot hold back the truth forever. Over the past twelve months, independent research, official leaks and news reports have reinforced the laboratory leak hypothesis.
In February, a Taiwanese professor, Fang Chi-tai, highlighted a strange feature of the virus' genetic code that would make it more effective at targeting cells. This is likely not the result of a natural mutation, he suggested.
Much scientific research involves modifying viruses to understand how they work. For years, many observers have feared that the risks of such experiments were not properly considered.
Laboratory safety procedures are fraught with potential loopholes and flaws: breaks, animal bites, faulty equipment, or simple mislabeling can result in a deadly pathogen reaching its first human victim. If so, this negligence has now cost tens of millions of lives.
Still, we should be clear. The Chinese authorities are ruthless. But even they would not cause a global plague.
It is only in the feverish imagination of conspiracy theorists that Beijing is deliberately waging biological wars against the West.
Pictured: A woman walks past a shop on a street that sells fried scales of endangered psoriasis or scaly anteater in Hong Kong despite being the subject of an international ban
Pictured: The Wuhan Institute of Virology
Paradoxically, such speculation, encouraged by Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, among others, may have hampered the search for the truth by making laboratory release theory appear racially and politically toxic.
In February, scientists published an open letter in Britain's politically correct medical journal, The Lancet, denouncing "conspiracy theories and rumors" and urging solidarity with Chinese colleagues.
However, it was only the colleagues who bore the brunt of the regime's desperate attempts to censor the truth about the outbreak.
The Chinese regime values self-preservation above all – certainly about the truth or the health of its own people, let alone about the lives of foreigners.
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