A Republican-led investigation into the origins of COVID-19 has found additional, albeit circumstantial, evidence to support the theory of a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
However, the research report published on Wednesday does not provide any conclusive evidence to prove the theory.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who launched the investigation nearly two years ago, says the new information uncovered by congressional investigators adds credibility to the “lab leak theory.”
The report also acknowledges that it did not uncover definitive evidence to confirm that the virus originated from a laboratory accident and not naturally in nature.
This aligns with previous statements by top US intelligence officials highlighting conflicting views about the true origins of the pandemic.
“What we present below is a substantial body of circumstantial evidence supporting the plausibility of such a scenario,” states the executive summary of Rubio’s report on the lab leak theory, making it clear that the findings do not offer a definitive answer. to the question of origin.
Rubio’s new report explicitly highlights evidence indicating that Chinese government officials and relevant figures in the scientific community knew about an infectious disease outbreak before it was publicly disclosed on December 31, 2019.
The report also reveals information suggesting a possible biocontainment failure or accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a state-run facility, during the second half of 2019.
This incident aligns with the time period when epidemiological evidence indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, was introduced into the human population in Wuhan.
“In addition, indirect evidence suggests that senior CCP (Chinese Communist Party) leaders likely had at least limited knowledge of this laboratory incident no later than mid-November 2019,” the report added.
Rubio argues that taking these findings together strongly supports the lab leak theory.
In response to the report, China’s Foreign Ministry called it a fabrication by anti-China senators who lacked scientific credibility.
They referred to a 2021 World Health Organization report that deemed the lab leak theory “extremely unlikely,” though this investigation was criticized for being incomplete and lacking in transparency.
The ministry suggested that instead of politicizing the issue, the senator should have collaborated with the World Health Organization to investigate the source and share the results openly and transparently.
While some US intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and Department of Energy, have expressed moderate or low confidence that the virus likely leaked from a laboratory, most of the intelligence community believes that COVID arose. naturally in nature or that there is not enough information. evidence to conclusively determine its origin.
A declassified 2021 report showing various agencies assessing the origins of the virus with varying degrees of confidence, whether from animals or a laboratory accident, demonstrated the intelligence community’s division on this issue for several years.
(Source: Rubio publishes groundbreaking report on the origins of COVID)
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