Coronavirus (Covid-19)NewsWorld

FBI director says Covid-19 started in a Chinese lab, but provides no evidence

Three years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and it appears the experts are no closer to nailing the source of the outbreak, although an FBI director reckons the virus was “likely” leaked from a lab.

FBI Director Christopher Wray guesses that a laboratory in Wuhan, China, is the source of the outbreak although he failed to provide any evidence.

The 56 year old FBI chief spoke with far-right US cable channel Fox News yesterday in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”

According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, four US agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, believe that Covid was likely the result of natural transmission, while two remain undecided. This finding contradicts the World Health Organisation (WHO) stance that a laboratory origin for the virus was “extremely unlikely.”

White House national security spokesman John Kirby acknowledged on Monday that the US government has not reached a definitive conclusion or consensus on the pandemic’s origins.

Wray said China had obstructed efforts to identify the virus’s origin. Despite ongoing investigations, he indicated that he is currently unable to share “a whole lot of details that are classified.”

“I will just make the observation that the Chinese government … has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our US government and close foreign partners are doing.”

China’s foreign ministry referred to the joint report by the WHO and China that pointed toward a natural origin for the pandemic rather than a lab leak.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said…

“On the origins-tracing of SARS-CoV-2, China has been open and transparent and shared information and data on COVID-19 with the international community in a timely manner.

“China is the only country that has invited more than once WHO expert groups to come into the country to conduct joint origins study. China has shared more data and research findings on SARS-CoV-2 origins study than any other country.”

Mao also said the US should look at its biological laboratories scattered across the world.

“It is the US who should respond to the world’s questions and concerns over Fort Detrick and its military and biological labs across the world. By politicising the issue, the US will not succeed in discrediting China. Instead, it will only hurt the US’s own credibility.”

The debate over the origins of the pandemic has been ongoing since it first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. While some believe the virus could have leaked from a lab, others argue that it was transmitted from animals to humans, a theory supported by the majority of scientists.

The WHO conducted an investigation in China in early 2021, but it was criticized by some for not being independent enough, and for lacking access to necessary data and samples.

The US has been calling for a more thorough investigation into the pandemic’s origins. With the new report and ongoing investigations, the debate is likely to continue.

The WHO’s global Covid trackers reported that, as of February 21, there had been more than 757 million virus infections and 6.85 million related deaths.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia, mostly in China. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.