Questions about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 continue to swirl as Chinese officials delete some 300 coronavirus studies, including all of the papers published by Shi Zhengli, the bat coronavirus researcher at the center of this drama. As reported by the Daily Mail, January 9, 2021:1
“The Chinese government is facing fresh accusations of a cover-up after officials deleted crucial online data about the laboratory suspected of being the source of COVID-19 … Hundreds of pages of information relating to studies carried out by the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology have been wiped.
Details of more than 300 studies, including many investigating diseases that pass from animals to humans, published online by the state-run National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are no longer available. The deletion of key evidence has reignited fears that China is trying to whitewash the investigation into the origins of the virus.”
The data deletion came on the heels of President Xi Jinping’s decision to block World Health Organization investigators from entering China. State media have also reportedly published “hundreds of stories” claiming SARS-CoV-2 did not originate in Wuhan.
Mounting Evidence Points to Lab Leak
Meanwhile, evidence that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a lab in China continues to mount — this according to U.S. deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger.2 According to a January 2, 2021, Mail Online article:3
“Pottinger said that the latest intelligence points to the virus leaking from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology … 'There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus.'
He claimed the pathogen may have escaped through a 'leak or an accident,' adding: 'Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.' The comments … were made during a Zoom conference with MPs on China …
‘MPs around the world have a moral role to play in exposing the WHO investigation as a Potemkin exercise,' Mr. Pottinger told the parliamentarians, in reference to the fake villages created in the Crimea in the 18th Century, intended to convince the visiting Russian Empress Catherine the Great that the region was in good health.
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory Party leader who attended the meeting, said Mr. Pottinger's comments represented a 'stiffening' of the U.S. position on the theory that the virus came from a leak at the laboratory …”
According to the Daily Mail, the WHO — already accused of being too accommodating to China — has raised additional controversy with its decision to not include the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in its investigation, despite the fact that the WIV is the lab with the highest biosecurity in China and the most likely source.4