A number of prominent epidemiologists and scientists in China and overseas said it’s absolute nonsense to let intelligence agencies lead COVID-19 origins-tracing work, and some scientists are working on a letter to Science magazine to rebut the “lab leak” theory, a source close to the matter informed the Global Times on Monday, after the UK intelligence unit, following Washington, said it believes it’s “feasible” that the pandemic began from a Chinese lab leak.
The latest political hyping of the question of the virus origins, led by the US government, recently aroused growing criticism among Chinese scientists. “It’s ridiculous to ask intelligence units to do the work that should be done by scientists,” Zeng Guang, former Chinese CDC head epidemiologist, told the Global Times.
After US President Joe Biden asked US intelligence agencies to redouble their efforts in investigating the origins of the COVID-19 last week, the UK reportedly said it believes “it’s feasible” that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab, according to media reports on Sunday. The lab leak theory has been a conspiracy theory constantly hyped by Western politicians and media outlets since the beginning of the epidemic in order to shift the blame to China for the West’s own failures in tackling the epidemic effectively.
Western intelligence speculated there was a remote chance that the virus had leaked from the lab where research was conducted into bat-derived coronaviruses, but there has since been a reassessment, and a lab leak is considered “feasible,” some reports said.
No evidence was mentioned when they brought up this new hypothesis, a source close to the WHO origins-tracing work told the Global Times on Monday when asked about the piece of information shared by UK intelligence. He added that these are the UK’s conservatives.
It has been quite a challenging moment for scientists around the world as the US-led West has been playing the “origins-tracing” card in pressuring China by mixing this scientific question with politics, adding more obstacles to global efforts in fighting the pandemic, according to experts and officials.
Some scientists are working on a rebuttal to the Science letter from 18 scientists, the source said.
On May 14, 18 researchers published a letter in the magazine arguing that the idea of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 leaking from a lab in China must be explored more deeply, calling for a “proper investigation,” according to the website of the magazine.