A Senate investigation into where COVID-19 came from found that the virus most likely got out of a Chinese laboratory. Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee released an interim report on Thursday.
It found that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the idea that COVID-19 was passed from animals to humans, and it pointed to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China as the likely source of the virus.
“Based on an analysis of publicly available information,” the report said, “it seems reasonable to conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic was more likely than not the result of a research-related incident.”
“This assessment could be changed by new information that is made public and can be checked by anyone.” On the other hand, the natural zoonotic origin theory no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt or the presumption that it is correct.”
Republicans on the Senate HELP Committee say that the lab leak was caused by “high-risk” coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and “persistent biosafety problems” at the lab.
The committee found that, before the pandemic, the Wuhan Institute of Virology bought several pieces of equipment that suggest it had problems with aerosolized viruses.
For example, it bought an air incinerator and an air disinfection system. There was also evidence that other safety equipment was in short supply.
Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology got coronavirus samples from bats. The samples were genetically similar to the virus that caused the pandemic by up to 96.8%. According to the report, scientists at the lab often took bat samples without using proper protection.
More to Read:
- Ash Carter, the Defence Commander Who Allowed Women to Fight, Has Died
- Trump Group Able to Name Ex-cfo a Liar as Tax Fraud Trial Begins
- ‘big Mistake,’ Says Bob Mackie of Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Outfit Inspired by Marilyn Monroe!
The report concluded that the zoonotic origin theory is not likely because there is still no proof that an animal was infected with the COVID-19 virus or a closely related virus before the 2019 outbreak.
The report says that the virus probably came from a horseshoe bat, but it is not clear how that bat got from Southern China or Southeast Asia to Wuhan unless virus researchers brought it there.
The report says that the conclusions are not meant to be final and that China’s lack of transparency makes it hard to “reach a more definitive conclusion.”
The report says that conclusions might need to be rethought if more information comes to light. The White House won’t say whether or not President Biden has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping about where COVID-19 came from.
Biden told The Washington Post earlier this year that during a virtual summit in November 2021, he asked Xi to be honest about where the virus came from, but that his spokespeople didn’t know about this important exchange because they weren’t there.