By Chris King • 29 January 2023 • 19:45
Image of coronavirus patient.
Credit: Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock.com
According to the authors of two UN reports on the origins of the coronavirus, a laboratory leak was the most likely cause of the spread of the pandemic. They accused leading British and American scientists of helping China deliberately suppress debate on the issue.
In a damning joint article published today, Sunday, January 29, by the Mail on Sunday, two professors attacked the ‘cover-up’ and called for a ‘reassessment of the likely pathways that caused this pandemic’.
Two epidemiologists were responsible for these reports. They were Colin Butler, from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health in Canberra, Australia, and Delia Randolph, from the University of Greenwich in London.
Both concluded that high-risk experiments being carried out in the Chinese city of Wuhan were shrouded in a cloak of suspicious secrecy, deception, and conflicts of interest. They argued that this was ‘implemented not only by China but also by Western funding agencies and influential Western scientists’.
“I realise that speaking out may be unpopular, even reducing my job opportunities, but the scale of this pandemic is far more important than any personal considerations”, said Professor Butler.
Butler added that it is vital to restore confidence in science and that his research for the report led him to conclude that “gain-of-function experiments”, which can increase the infectivity of lethal viruses, “could rival nuclear weapons in their potential for harm”.
The two public health experts were commissioned in early 2020 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shortly after the virus emerged in China. They were engaged to study the causes and consequences of Covid-19 at a time when its origins were believed to be in a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan.
Professor Randolph, the lead author of the first report, admitted she was concerned that her research might point to a laboratory leak, but felt the agency “was reluctant to include something so controversial” in the study she led.
Professor Butler was initially sceptical about a lab leak but struggled to include a mention of the theory in his report as evidence began to emerge about hidden data, controversial experiments, and the risky research environment at Wuhan.
Butler believed the publication was deliberately stalled for ten months until its final release last autumn, which came with minimal publicity, and only after his personal appeal to the report’s funder.
The two professors’ reports are substantive and emphasise that: “unlike some key players in the Covid origin debate”, they have no financial or scientific links to Wuhan. “We accept that ‘natural origin’ is possible with ‘zoonotic’ transmission from nature to humans, however, strangely, there remains no sign of evidence to support this theory”, they wrote.
Last week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest public funder of science, was criticised by an official watchdog for not being aware of US-sponsored virus experiments.
The MoS revealed last year that Sir Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, a leading research charity, had described biosecurity at the Wuhan labs as the ‘Wild West’ in emails to the NIH director discussing the possible origins of the coronavirus.
Professors Butler and Randolph both highlighted Sir Jeremy – who has since been appointed chief scientist at the World Health Organisation – as one of the key figures in suppressing this debate, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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