The former United States CIA chief claims that the virus causing the Covid pandemic worldwide most likely originated in a top Chinese laboratory.6 April 2021
Mike Pompeo, the former United States CIA director has reiterated his conclusion that the virus causing the Covid pandemic worldwide most likely originated in a top Chinese laboratory.
In an interview shown on Fox News, Pompeo said “significant evidence” remained that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory. He cast doubt on the World Health Organization‘s assessment that it likely spread from animals to humans.
Pompeo told “America’s Newsroom” that the Trump administration had left the WHO because it was “corrupt”. He said he hoped that China’s influence over the organisation had not affected its conclusions on the origins of the deadly virus.
“I must say the reason we left the World Health Organization was because we came to believe that it was corrupt,” Pompeo said. “It had been politicised. It was bending a knee to General Secretary Xi Jinping in China.”
The WHO announced its initial findings during a news conference but stipulated additional research and investigations were required.
Pompeo said he had hoped the WHO team would have been allowed to interview Wuhan doctors and technicians away from potential interference by the Chinese Communist Party. It had disseminated conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus, such as suggesting the U.S. Army was behind its initial spread.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen scientists called for a new investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, amid concerns it was “all but impossible” for a World Health Organization-led team to operate free of political influence.
In an open letter, a group of 26 experts claimed the probe did not “constitute a thorough, credible and transparent investigation”.
“We believe it essential that all hypotheses about the origins of the pandemic be thoroughly examined and full access to all necessary resources be provided without regard to political or other sensitivities,” the letter added.
During a highly anticipated trip earlier this year, a WHO-convened team spent four weeks in Wuhan – where the first Covid-19 cases were detected in late 2019 – to investigate how the virus first emerged.
The scientists suggested that, while “all hypotheses remain open”, it is highly unlikely that the virus emerged as a leak from a laboratory. Instead, they said, Sars-Cov-2 most likely jumped from bats to humans via an as-yet-unknown intermediary host.
While most experts expected inconclusive findings – establishing the origins of diseases usually takes years, if not decades – the lack of a “smoking gun” has only heightened geopolitical squabbles and already intense scrutiny around the probe.
The Chinese government used the mission to push the theory that the virus spread to Wuhan via frozen food packaging. It has called the WHO to lead similar missions to other countries,
Meanwhile the United States has implied it will independently verify initial conclusions, and the UK has expressed concern that the international scientists were not given full access to required data.
Defenders of the trip say its aim was never to “investigate” and catch out China. Instead, it was to study and better understand the origins of the outbreak through “scientific and collaborative field missions”.
Speaking at a press conference earlier this month, Dr Peter Ben Embarek, WHO’s food safety and animal disease specialist and chairman of the investigation team, said the team had met this aim.
“Did we change dramatically the picture we had beforehand? I don’t think so. Did we improve our understanding and add details to that story? Absolutely.”
One member of the WHO team suspected of having close ties with the Chinbesae is Dr Peter Daszak, an ecologist.
But, in the open letter criticising the trip, a group of experts from countries including France, the US and Australia criticised the mission’s scope. They warned that the WHO “had to rely on information the Chinese authorities chose to share with them”.
“The joint WHO-China team had neither the mandate, independence nor the access necessary to conduct a full and unrestricted investigation,” Dr Etienne Decroly, a letter signatory and molecular virologist at Aix-Marseille University in France, told the British newspaper The Telegraph.
“Elucidating the origins of Sars-Cov-2 is crucial to reduce the risk of future pandemics… Our open letter sets out a possible framework for a full and unrestricted investigation.”
Others, however, have suggested that any new inquiry is unlikely given the difficulties gaining access to China – the WHO mission, for example, was delayed after members experienced “visa issues”.
Correspondent.world analysed Chinese scientific websites to discover last year that the statistical chance of the virus that causes Covid-19 having evolved accidentally in a market in Wuhan was less than one in a hundred.
Now, we are hearing allegations that the country’s top virological pathology centre, based in Wuhan, was carrying out work for the Chinese military. The claim – for which correspondent.world has seen no proof — is made by a Chinese virologist who was based in Hong Kong.
She says the military was involved in creating a variant of the virus or in causing the transmission of the virus to or between humans. Her name has been revealed: Yan Li-Meng.
“I had clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military lab. The Wuhan wet market was just used as a decoy,” said Yan, during a 35-minute interview with a Taipei (Nationalist China) television station.
“I knew that once I spoke up, I could disappear at any time, just like all the brave protesters in Hong Kong,” Yan told her television interviewer. “I could disappear at any time. Even my name would no longer exist.”
Her claims, reported by the Taipei news service, are not able to be corroborated. At the time of that interview, Yan had not revealed publicly exactly how she came to her conclusion that the Chinese military was involved.
Now, however, she has done a follow-up interview on a different, privately-owned Chinese-language channel. In it Yan claims the modifications were artificially inserted into a virus that originated in bats. She agreed with the interviewer that there was “zero chance” of the Covid virus having evolved naturally.