News and Commentary

China Now Claims Coronavirus Probably Did Not Come From Wet Market, Virus Not Found In Animal Samples There
A police officer stands guard outside of Huanan Seafood Wholesale market where the coronavirus was detected in Wuhan on January 24, 2020. - The death toll in China's viral outbreak has risen to 25, with the number of confirmed cases also leaping to 830, the national health commission said.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reported this week in state-run media that Chinese scientists are now leaning towards believing that the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the world did not originate in Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.

The Global Times, which is Chinese state-run propaganda, said that while the original theory that China publicly promoted was that the coronavirus originated in the wet market, new evidence “indicates that the speculation may not be right.” The Global Times reported:

The Huanan seafood market is more like a victim of COVID-19 rather than the origin of the novel coronavirus, Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and member of the National Committee of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told the media on Monday.

Gao said he had gone to Wuhan to collect samples for COVID-19 researchers in early January, but no viruses were detected in the animal samples. Viruses were only found in environmental samples, including sewage.

The article from Chinese state-run media did not suggest any other potential places where the coronavirus could have originated.

Most U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly believe that the virus escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) during a lab accident sometime late last year.

The Saturday Telegraph, which is an Australian publication, reported earlier this month on a 15-page dossier compiled by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which is comprised of intelligence agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand:

As intelligence agencies investigate whether the virus inadvertently leaked from a Wuhan laboratory, the team and its research led by scientist Shi Zhengli feature in the dossier prepared by Western governments that points to several studies they conducted as areas of concern.

It cites their work discovering samples of coronavirus from a cave in the Yunnan province with striking genetic similarity to COVID-19, along with their research synthesising a bat-derived coronavirus that could not be treated. …

In Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, not far from the now infamous Wuhan wet market, Dr Shi and her team work in high-protective gear in level-three and level-four bio-containment laboratories studying deadly bat-derived coronaviruses.

At least one of the ­estimated 50 virus samples Dr Shi has in her laboratory is a 96 per cent genetic match to COVID-19. When Dr Shi heard the news about the outbreak of a new ­pneumonia-like virus, she spoke about the sleepless nights she suffered worrying whether it was her lab that was responsible for the outbreak.

AFP reported this week that the Wuhan Institute of Virology admitted to having three live strains of bat coronaviruses on site but claimed that none of them were a match to the coronavirus that is sweeping across the world.

It is worth noting that China has repeatedly lied about the outbreak ,and information coming out of China is widely viewed with skepticism by experts.

Late last month, when asked by the media if he has seen any evidence that gives him a “high degree of confidence” that the coronavirus outbreak came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, President Donald Trump responded, “Yes, I have.”

When asked what evidence he has seen that gives him a “a high degree of confidence,” Trump responded: “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

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