Former intelligence chiefs and diplomats have claimed that COVID was leaked from a Wuhan lab in a “cover up of the century”, which is “worse than Watergate”.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – a high-security facility specializing in coronaviruses – is in the eye of the storm as questions remain over whether Covid could have escaped its laboratory.
Both China and the lab have vehemently denied any allegations, but top former intelligence officials said evidence of a lab “crash” is clear to see – and a reckoning has been made “from day one”.
Evidence of a laboratory leak has been accumulating over the past year as scientists, researchers and governments search for answers.
Dozens of scientists have suggested that Covid may have escaped from the Wuhan lab through an infected researcher, improper disposal of waste, or possible breaches in on-site security.
There was also an “intense” period of “unusual and apparent activity” in the weeks leading up to the epidemic in Wuhan – raising suspicions about virus outbreaks and mass sterilization in the laboratory.
The city’s airport was closed for several days, WIV had a blackout period with no signs of mobile phone activity, and security at the site was extensively beefed up.
But China has refused to cooperate with a full-scale probe into the origins, and experts said the cover-up continues to this day.
Shari Markson what really happened in wuhan has uncovered a number of clues pointing to Beijing’s “widely well-intentioned” effort to hide the evidence.
And former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Markson: “You launch a full-scale cover-up only when something happens that you want to make sure doesn’t become factual fiction.
“I must say that this was a broadly well-intentioned, Beijing-focused, ongoing effort by the WHO, any Western country or any scientist to circumvent any ability to determine patient zero and the origin of this virus. .
“And it’s going on, it’s one of those things that people don’t realize, the cover-up continues.”
This is the bust of the century. This makes Watergate look easier
David Stillwell, the former top US diplomat in East Asia, said: “This is the cover-up of the century. It makes Watergate look easier.”
“People are bent on insisting that for some reason being a slam-dunk, air-tight case that China created this virus,” he said.
“Of course the PRC won’t let you go there to see their labs, but so many people have used that problem to prevent further investigation.
“This is not a legal case, we are not looking for indisputable evidence, there is enough circumstantial evidence.”
Some of the key evidence of the inexplicable activity that Markson presents in his book is the ongoing questions about virus databases wiped out at the WIV – which has led some to speculate that important data about the origins of Covid may persist. Is.
A database containing 22,000 viruses was taken offline on September 12, 2019, three months before China officially warned the world about the virus.
And that same day the WIV began a spending spree as they increased security in the laboratory, replaced their air ventilation system, and purchased a new medical waste incinerator.
Two months later in November, the lab also purchased a new PCR testing machine – a kit that has become so familiar to the world since the pandemic.
Meanwhile, it appears that the laboratory was extensively sterilized and locked down in October 2019.
Roadblocks are said to have been put up around the lab and there was a blackout of mobile phone data around the facility, with an intelligence source telling Markson that some considered it a “smoking gun”.
And a former Donald Trump administration official described the activity as “in line with protocol for a biological phenomenon occurring in a laboratory.”
Airline flights to and from Wuhan were halted during the same period – with an unusually high number of cancellations.
And meanwhile an anti-coronavirus military exercise was also conducted at Wuhan airport and city hospitals a few months before the pandemic.
For investigative journalist Markson, this evidence, combined with a wealth of other interviews and research, has led to the conclusion that the virus most likely came from a laboratory.
And some scientists have even argued that the virus itself is involved in the “fingerprints” of genetic manipulation.
And former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove said “the weight of the evidence” suggests Covid leaked from a lab during gain-of-function research in WIV – but it was deliberately covered up since the start of the outbreak in 2019. it was done.
“If you look at the evidence coldly, it’s likely that it’s an escape from a lab, and it’s up to the Chinese to conclusively demonstrate it’s not there to tell us,” he told Markson. .
He added: “I’m not saying they deliberately released it, I’m saying it’s a Chinese accident, but it was covered up from day one.”
Sir Richard said it was not just China – he said the government was running a “completely disinformation campaign”.
Robert O’Brien, a former national security adviser to Donald Trump, agrees.
“I always thought it was the wet market or the lab to some extent given the history of past health crises; they keep coming out of China and affecting the whole world,” he said.
“I’m surprised the whole world hasn’t banded together and just said, Enough, you guys need international supervision.”
Peter Jennings, former deputy secretary of Australia’s Department of Defense, also highlighted the large amount of evidence that all goes back to China’s interest in biological weapons and WIV’s classified research on coronaviruses.
“If you put those together that makes a compelling case for saying that the probability of a laboratory accident is actually very high,” he said, adding the cover-up has appeared “hysterical” by China.
A high-level Five Eyes intelligence source described the evidence from the lab leak as “compelling” – but said there has been “active Chinese disinformation”.
Pompeo, who served under Trump as CIA director from 2017 to 2018, said it took months to “knock down” the scientific consensus that Covid must have a natural origin.
“It was Chinese propaganda that some American scientists even carried forward and they wanted to know better if they were professionals and yet it was language,” he said.
In April 2020, Pompeo received a US dossier about the origins of the worldwide pandemic.
Obtained by Markson, the report compiled by Miles Yu and David Asher said the Wuhan lab was the most likely origin.
Yu, who served as Pompeo’s China policy and planning advisor, believes the lab was researching a COVID vaccine before the outbreak.
On January 21, 2020, China filed a “user patent” application for Gilead’s Remdesivir – an unprecedented treatment for Covid.
And that was before China acknowledged that the virus was spreading from human to human.
Yu said the patent shows that “WIV had kept the novel coronavirus in its laboratory and had known about its lethality and pathogenicity for some time”.
“It was actively researching a vaccine before anyone else succeeded, thus giving China the sole patent rights,” Yu said in the report.
In his report, Yu described China as a “country plagued by a dangerous virus” and that scientists “neglect biosecurity, often with disastrous consequences”.
Markson, 37, who lives in Sydney with her husband and child, said the US intelligence community appears to be a “victim” of China’s propaganda campaign.
Reputable scientific journals blocked the publication of papers from highly respected researchers, pointing to the possibility of a laboratory leak, and many Western scientists claimed it was a disputed conspiracy theory.
Markson said Free Speech was censored by the social media platform, with Facebook erasing any content that questioned whether the virus originated in the lab.
Although it appears that Covid is set to infect humans, Markson highlighted how political leaders, health officials and global regulatory bodies looked the other way.
He slammed the lack of investigation into the origins of Covid as “unforgivable failures at multiple levels”.
China has repeatedly said it is not responsible for the global pandemic and dismissed allegations from those who say the virus was manipulated by humans.
What Really Happened in Wuhan by Shari Markson is published by HarperCollins and now, £20 (hardback)
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