After months of reports discrediting China’s official “wet market” cover story for the origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19), U.S. intelligence agencies have ramped up their investigation into the possibility COVID-19 originated in a Chinese biolab. I have written and posted on this possible link, and China’s level 4 biosafety lab (BSL-4) in Wuhan, repeatedly since February.
According to National Review (NR), U.S. intelligence now has “increasing confidence” that the novel Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak began in a lab that was researching bat-coronaviruses, contrary to China’s claim that the pandemic emerged from a Wuhan wet market.”
NR notes that intelligence sources told Fox News that “the initial transmission of the virus looks to be bat-to-human, and that ‘patient zero’ contracted the disease while working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, before going into the general population.”
As I have noted previously, this lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is China’s first lab rated BSL-4 — the highest level of international bio-research safety. However, reports indicate that its research work with bats had been conducted at the lower BSL-2 protection level. Additionally, there is a separate BSL-2 lab in Wuhan at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
While CNN is taking more skeptical approach, it is still conceding the possible biolab link, stating, “An intelligence official familiar with the government analysis said a theory US intelligence officials are investigating is that the virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and was accidentally released to the public.”
US intelligence is reportedly reviewing sensitive intelligence collection aimed at the Chinese government to validate the theory. Further buttressing this possibility, The Washington Post has reported on State Department cables from 2018 demonstrating concerns about the safety and the management of the Wuhan Institute of Virology biolab.
When asked about those cables, CNN noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who has continued to call the coronavirus the “Wuhan Virus” — did not dismiss them.
As NR reminded, Republican Senator Tom Cotton was one of the first U.S. officials to publicly cast doubt on China’s “wet market” story, citing a Chinese study, which found that the first documented coronavirus case in Wuhan had no connection to the market. He also pointed out the possibility of an accidental biolab leak.
Predictably, the majority of U.S. media then followed the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) playbook and vilified him for suggesting the virus could have come from a lab.
Sadly, rather than both parties rallying against China’s deceptive communist regime, this has become a highly partisan issue. As NR notes, Democrats have mostly dismissed claims of Chinese duplicity, instead focusing criticism on Trump.
“The reason that we are in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, not because of anything the WHO did, it’s because of what this president did,” Democrat Senator Chris Murphy said as recently as Tuesday.
It is time to make China take full responsibility for its role in this pandemic, and demand absolute transparency from the CPC regarding the origins of COVID-19. Now is not the time for partisanship, now is the time to close ranks and show China that — as we did during the Cold War — partisanship ends at the water’s edge.