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China dismisses Wuhan lab theory as conspiracy amid Dr Fauci revelations

After US top coronavirus advisor, Dr Anthony Fauci private emails were revealed to the press over coronavirus coming from Wuhan Lab, China on Friday dismissed Wuhan lab hypothesis as a conspiracy

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Coronavirus | China | Coronavirus Tests

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as President Donald Trump answers questions during the coronavirus task force daily briefing at the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: Reuters
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, DC. Photo: Reuters

After US top advisor, Dr Anthony Fauci private emails were revealed to the press over coming from Wuhan Lab, on Friday dismissed Wuhan lab hypothesis as a conspiracy.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin in a press briefing said, "According to US media reports, in April 2020, Francis S Collins, Director of the US National Institutes of Health, wrote to a number of heads of US research institutions, including Dr Anthony Fauci, dismissing the Wuhan lab hypothesis as a conspiracy."

On the issue of virus origin-tracing, Wang said that many experts in the international community have made scientific, rational, objective and impartial voices.

Peter Daszak, member of the WHO international expert group and President of EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit non-governmental organization, said in a recent interview with CNN, "There is no evidence that this was a virus created in a lab. There is no evidence at all that it ever was in a lab."

"We hope those spreading the "lab-leak theory", be it individuals or media, will take seriously these objective and correct voices," said Wang.

Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of sciences has issued a statement on March 23. According to the statement, the Wuhan Institute of Virology had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before December 30, 2019, and a "zero-infection" record is kept among its staff and graduate students so far.

"This January, the China-WHO joint mission made field trips to institutions including the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and visited biosafety laboratories and had in-depth and candid exchanges with experts there. Through these field trips and in-depth visits, members of the mission unanimously agreed that the hypothesis of lab leaking is extremely unlikely," said Wang.

The emails of Dr Fauci revealed about early days of the Covid outbreak in the US. Dr Fauci and his colleagues took notice, in the early days, of the theory that COVID-19 may have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan,

With regard to the "lab leak" email, Fauci told CNN he still finds it unlikely that a Wuhan laboratory released the virus. "I don't remember what's in that redacted [email], but the idea I think is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves as well as other people," he said. "I think that's a bit far out."

The controversial claim was dismissed by experts last year, who said it was "extremely unlikely". No evidence to support it has emerged.

But in recent days, amid criticism of an inconclusive international probe into the virus' origins and new reports of Covid-related illness in the region weeks before it was officially identified, the theory is once again sparking debate.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, June 05 2021. 06:01 IST
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