US intelligence agencies looking into data from Wuhan lab
direct to your inbox
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.
has now demanded the US provide data from their own labs, after Washington said it has intelligence data from Wuhan laboratories. Now China wants the US to open for scrutiny a US military laboratory in Maryland. The US has obtained data from Wuhan laboratories in order to compare and examine genetic sequences on shared online databases.
One US source speaking to the Daily Mail said: “A lot of the analysis is carried out on data clouds which are often based in the US.”
The news comes after a US scientist said he had recovered deleted files from the Google Cloud to reconstruct partial coronavirus genetic sequences of early cases in Wuhan.
He said that these differed from the variants that spread to cause the pandemic.
Evolutionary biologist Jesse Bloom claims that COVID-19 was circulating well before the outbreak emerged in a Wuhan market.
He said that Chinese laboratories had attempted to delete critical data about how the virus spread.
Now lead US investigator David Asher wants to look at data from the US National Institutes of Health and EcoHealth Alliance.
Both these organisations funded cutting-edge work on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is the highest-security lab in China.
China has erupted after Biden pushes for Wuhan lab leak investigation
Xi Jinping of China
Mr Asher said the intelligence services were “doing their best” but were seriously compromised “if unable to even access all the information that might be available in the US”.
China has said it would not allow any more inquiries into the spread of coronavirus in Wuhan.
The only investigation conducted so far was the WHO’s heavily-controlled trip to Wuhan earlier this year.
The results of that investigation concluded that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely”.
The coronavirus has caused one of the most disruptive events of the 21st Century
Sampling for coronavirus in China
Peter Ben Embarek, a Danish food scientist who led the investigation for the WHO in Wuhan has since admitted the Chinese were unwilling to discuss the lab leak theory.
He said that the only way for the Chinese to facilitate the investigation was if the WHO defined the lab leak hypothesis as “extremely unlikely”, rather than “unlikely”.
The Global Times, the state-run tabloid from China, has accused the US of running a campaign “to smear China as the source of the coronavirus”.
The communist party mouthpiece has said that the US is “feeding the media with fabricated evidence”.
Wuhan lab researchers handle bats in 2017 promo footage
The Global Times also suggests that the WHO has been put under pressure by the US and its allies.
Conservative Party MP Bob Seely, a member of the foreign affairs committee, speaking to the Daily Mail said: “It speaks volumes that China is becoming so defensive and belligerent.
“A responsible country would open its labs to get to the bottom of the greatest health crisis of this century.
“We don’t know where Covid comes from, transmission from animals, sloppy lab procedures or experiments that manipulate viruses, but it’s clear China is nervous of the world finding out.
“Why? What’s it got to hide?”
One suspicious is coincidence is that the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory moved to a new location in December 2019 just as cases began to emerge.
This new location was only a short distance from the Wuhan wet market where early cases were detected.
Mr Embarek has also suggested that there is a possibility of a researcher becoming infected while taking samples from bats at the Wuhan laboratory.
He said that this “falls under one of the probably hypotheses”, since this would be “where the virus jumps directly from a bat to a human”.