China’s former top COVID official admits he can’t rule out lab leak theory

The Chinese official who played a leading role in Beijing's response to COVID-19 has acknowledged the possibility of a lab leak as the source of the deadly virus. 

Dr. George Fu Gao, China's equivalent of Dr. Anthony Fauci, stated in an interview with the BBC that in the realm of science, one should never rule out anything and that suspicions are inherent to the scientific process. Speaking on the podcast "Fever: The Hunt for Covid's Origin," he said, "Don't rule out anything."

This admission from a prominent scientist is remarkable, considering how vehemently Beijing has denied the notion that the virus could have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were studying similar bat-borne diseases. The global pandemic, as reported by the World Health Organization, has claimed the lives of 7 million people worldwide.

Dr. Gao, formerly the head of China's Centre for Disease Control, indicated that he had heard that the lab had received clearance, but he did not disclose the extent of his certainty. He mentioned that the lab was following protocols and that no wrongdoing had been found, according to their conclusion.

The theory of a lab leak emerged shortly after the novel coronavirus surfaced in late 2019 in Wuhan, the city where extensive research on similar diseases was being conducted. Shi Zhengli, the head researcher at the lab and popularly known as the "bat woman," expressed concern when the mysterious and deadly illness began spreading rapidly in Wuhan. A collaborator, Wang Linfa, revealed that she worried about the possibility of a virus escaping from her lab unknowingly. However, Shi has since dismissed these fears, with Wang stating that she has categorically denied any chance of concealment.

In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed that the bureau had assessed for some time that a potential lab incident in Wuhan was the most likely origin of the pandemic. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe also supported this view, describing it as the only explanation supported by credible intelligence, scientific evidence, and common sense.

According to data from the World Health Organization, there have been over 766 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide.

Read more at the NY Post

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