Covid-19 seems to have originated from an animal, according to the head of the National Institutes of Health, who did not rule out the possibility that scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were covertly researching it and that some of the viruses had gotten out.
In an interview on CNBC’s, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said that it is still unclear whether the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory. He also said that the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origin of the coronavirus had gone backward.
Head Of NIH Believes That Covid Originated From Nature
In a statement issued by Collins, the overwhelming evidence from various viewpoints indicates that this was a naturally occurring virus. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is a top-secret research facility, and it is possible that the virus was studied there and then escaped. We do not know anything about it. However, the virus itself does not bear any telltale signs of having been deliberately produced by human hands.
According to Collins, China’s reluctance to cooperate with the WHO probe has made the investigation more difficult. In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Collins claimed that China had essentially refused to accept another WHO probe and said they were not interested.
Collins added that it would be great if they would open up their lab records and tell them what they were doing there and provide more information on the instances of individuals who were ill in November of 2019 about whom they don’t know nearly enough.
Reports from the United States National Security Agency, first published by the Wall Street Journal, stated that in November 2019, three employees at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill with symptoms similar to those seen in Covid-19 infections, a claim that China categorically denied as completely untrue.
President Joe Biden launched his inquiry into the virus’ origins around three months ago, and he authorized his intelligence agency 90 days to complete the study and submit the results. The deadline is on Tuesday, November 20.
According to Collins, the majority of the material collected will most likely stay secret, but some of the information from the study will be made public. Collins added that they have no idea what they will come up with either, but we are very interested.
Additionally, Collins weighed in on the ongoing debate over whether or not the United States should have funded the Wuhan lab’s so-called gain-of-function research, a debate that Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and President Barack Obama’s medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have engaged in on several occasions. Gain-of-function research is when scientists take a disease and manipulate it to make it more infectious, lethal, or both to learn more about how to fight it.
Collins continued to say that the kind of gain-of-function research that is under very scrutiny is when you take a virus that is harmful to people, and you add something to it that increases its virulence or its transmissibility. These are bat viruses, and they were not researching a disease that posed a threat to human health.
The National Institutes of Health sponsored certain research studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology via a grant to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, which investigated how bat viruses might infect people.
Collins explained In other words, according to the strict definition, and this was looked at extremely carefully by all of the reviewers of that research in anticipation of the possibility that this would arise, this did not meet the official description of what’s known as gain-of-function research that necessitated oversight.