GT exclusive: WSJ-cited lab report on COVID-19 origins provides no new info, just 'pathetic story to push political agenda'
Published: Jun 08, 2021 01:10 PM

With US media outlets and politicians again citing so-called "reports and evidence" to hype "the lab leak theory" on the origins of COVID-19, a source close to the WHO origins-tracing team told the Global Times on Tuesday that some politicians and so-called scientists are grasping at any pathetic story to push their political agenda. 

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Monday, citing a so-called national laboratory report, suggesting that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab, a hypothesis that has been rejected by preeminent scientists around the world and seen as "extremely unlikely" by the WHO-China expert team after conducting field research. 

It is a fresh move for US media organizations, without providing any new data or evidence, according to the source close to the WHO team, as they try to turn the scientific question into a pure political game. 

The lab leak theory has constantly been rebutted by many scientists. Andy Rambaut, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, shared a research paper published on Monday in Nature, providing solid evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 had a viable pathway for emergence from wildlife via intermediate hosts to humans, which was also in line with the findings of the WHO-China expert team that visited Wuhan earlier this year. 

The laboratory report cited by the WSJ came from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which was prepared in May 2020, and it was drawn on by the State Department when it conducted an inquiry into the pandemic's origins during the final months of the Trump administration, the WSJ report said. 

The lab has several staffers working on technology and biotechnology, but also many who work on projects related to intelligence, the source told the Global Times, noting that this would lead to their analyses requiring security clearance. 

"The thing about this report is that even if it contained any new information, it is not possible to share it publicly, so it doesn't help at all," the source said, referring to the report from the US national laboratory.

The WSJ came up with another so-called exclusive report weeks ago, citing a so-called Trump-era US intelligence report on sick staffers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The report indicated that those researchers "shared symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and seasonal illness."

Yuan Zhiming, director of the institute's Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, refuted the WSJ report and called it "an outright lie that came from nowhere."