Beijing’s efforts to impede a full investigation into whether the pandemic started as the result of a leak from a Chinese laboratory were last night compared to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster by former Cabinet Minister David Davis.
Mr Davis’s intervention, in an article for today’s Mail on Sunday, comes amid mounting scientific evidence from around the world pointing to the possibility that the disease first spread in November 2019 after workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became infected by one of the viruses they were experimenting on.
Efforts by other countries to probe the origins of Covid have been repeatedly frustrated by the Chinese.
Citing the 1986 nuclear meltdown in the Soviet Union, the former Brexit Secretary writes: ‘The Soviet Union initially denied there was a problem. When faced with indisputable evidence of the worst nuclear accident in history, it suggested the problem wasn’t so bad.
Only when the worst of the crisis had passed did it finally ask for international help. Like the Soviet Union, China is a closed-off, paranoid, one-party state. It has repeated these same mistakes. And we are all now paying the heavy price of Communist secrecy.’
David Davis’s (pictured) intervention, in an article for today’s Mail on Sunday, comes amid mounting scientific evidence from around the world pointing to the possibility that the disease first spread in November 2019
Mr Davis adds: ‘We need a full and frank investigation, led by scientists embracing proper scientific methods. Was this virus man-made or a natural mutation? Was it transmitted by an animal or did it leak from a lab? We must get the answers, not so that we can attack the Chinese, but for our own protection in the future.’
The Mail on Sunday was the first mainstream media outlet to report on fears of a lab leak, with an article on April 5, 2020, revealing intelligence experts feared the virus had first spread as the result of an accident at the institute, where researchers were examining coronaviruses obtained from bats in caves nearly 1,000 miles away from the centre of the outbreak.
A subsequent MoS article the following week, revealing the bat experiments were part-funded by the US Government, led President Trump to cancel the grants; since then, this newspaper has published a string of groundbreaking reports which have challenged the theory that the outbreak started naturally in Wuhan’s wet market, exposed the conflicts of interest of scientists who rubbished the idea of a lab leak as ‘a conspiracy theory’ and detailed the apparent complicity between Beijing and senior figures at the World Health Organisation, which is supposed to be investigating the origins.
A new study claimed yesterday that Chinese scientists had created Covid-19 in a Wuhan lab before reverse-engineering versions of the disease to make it seem like it came from bats.
The authors of the 22-page British-Norwegian vaccine paper, British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr Birger Sorensen, wrote that the virus had no credible ‘natural ancestor’ and said that it was ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that the disease was produced through ‘laboratory manipulation’.
They said that there was ‘deliberate destruction, concealment or contamination of data’ in Chinese labs and ‘Chinese scientists who wished to share their knowledge have not been able to do so or have disappeared’.
Beijing’s efforts to impede a full investigation into whether the pandemic started as the result of a leak from a Chinese laboratory were last night compared to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster by Mr Davis. Pictured, the sign marks the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone
Publicly, the British Government is still sticking to the line that its original assessment that the virus spread ‘zoonotically’, rather than through a leak, will not change unless new intelligence emerges.
But that view has been increasingly challenged from within Whitehall and the Tory Party after President Joe Biden announced last week that intelligence agencies will ‘redouble their efforts’ to determine if Covid-19 was accidentally released, after receiving an intelligence report from an ‘Allied country’ that scientists at the lab had fallen ill and been taken to hospital in November 2019.
It was reported yesterday that Britain’s intelligence agencies had teamed up with their US counterparts to help with the investigation, which Biden has ordered to report back within three months.
David Asher, who led the US State Department inquiries into Covid-19’s origins, told this newspaper: ‘We did not get anything from the UK. I cannot recall any of the information coming to light from the UK, yet they have always before been right alongside us on issues such as North Korea, Iran and suchlike.
A subsequent MoS article the following week, revealing the bat experiments were part-funded by the US Government, led President Trump to cancel the grants; since then, this newspaper has published a string of groundbreaking reports which have challenged the theory that the outbreak started naturally in Wuhan’s wet market (pictured)
‘The French have been great, although they built the damn lab. But this is the most complex investigation I have seen because there are so many falsehoods spread by the Chinese in their cover-up.’
In a separate move, it is understood that the UK Government is planning to set up a ‘China Unit’ to deal with the threat posed by the country. It will be modelled on the Russia Unit which operates out of the Foreign Office.
A source said: ‘China is the main foreign policy concern now and will be for a long time to come. It would pull together all the expertise and produce an overall strategy in responding to China.’
A No 10 source said that the Government was urging the WHO to mount a ‘full and proper’ investigation into the origins.