Lab leak debate was shut down because it could ’cause harm to China’

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Leading Western experts believed a lab leak in Wuhan was the ‘likely’ origin of Covid but were silenced because it could cause harm to Chinese scientists, bombshell emails show, the Daily Mail reported.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, who publicly denounced the theory as a ‘conspiracy’, had admitted in a private email in February 2020 that a ‘likely explanation’ was that the virus was man-made.

The then-UK government advisor said at the time he was ’70:30 or 60:40′ in favour of an accidental release versus natural origin, the report said.

In the email, sent to American health chiefs Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, Farrar said it was possible that Covid had been evolved from a Sars-like virus in the lab. He went on that this seemingly benign process may have ‘accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans’.

But the British scientist was shut down by his counterparts in the US who warned that further debate about the origin of the virus could damage ‘international harmony’, the report said.

He was told by other scientists with links to virus manipulation research that it could cause ‘unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular’.

Farrar claimed in his emails that other respected scientists also believed the virus could not have emerged naturally. The names included professor Mike Farzan, the Harvard researcher who first discovered how the original Sars virus binds to human cells, the report said.

Despite his concerns, Farrar went on to sign letters in The Lancet a fortnight later denouncing anyone who believed in the lab leak theory as bigoted.

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