From the earliest days of the pandemic, the novel coronavirus has been linked to the sale of infected meat sold at so-called wet markets in the city of Wuhan in China.
A new U.S. government report, however, appears to cast new doubt on that explanation, pointing instead to a lab in the central Chinese city as the point of origin for COVID-19, according to The Washington Times.
Other explanations “highly unlikely”
In an article published Tuesday, the Times noted the government report’s determination that “circumstantial evidence” suggests the virus can be traced back to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which operates a branch in Wuhan.
“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” the government analysis concluded, according to the Times.
The report further claims that the Chinese government has been behaving as though it has something to hide.
“The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off from outside inquiry by the [Chinese Communist Party],” the government researchers determined, according to the Times. “A gag order to both places was issued on Jan. 1, 2020, and a major general from the PLA who is China’s top military microbiologist essentially took over the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] since mid-January.”
Top Republican voices skepticism
This report seems to bolster claims from Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (AR), who has long expressed skepticism of official claims that COVID-19 came from a wet market.
Cotton wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal earlier this month in which he laid out his case for expanding the search for the cause of the global pandemic.
“Chinese researchers reported in the Lancet Jan. 24 that the first known cases had no contact with the market, and Chinese state media acknowledged the finding,” the senator wrote. “There’s no evidence the market sold bats or pangolins, the animals from which the virus is thought to have jumped to humans. And the bat species that carries it isn’t found within 100 miles of Wuhan.”
His argument also included criticism of the Chinese regime much like that in the government analysis released this week.
“The Chinese military posted its top epidemiologist to the Institute of Virology in January,” Cotton wrote in his op-ed. “In February Chairman Xi Jinping urged swift implementation of new biosafety rules to govern pathogens in laboratory settings. Academic papers about the virus’s origins are now subject to prior restraint by the government.”
Indeed, as the coronavirus brings the world to a standstill, it is becoming increasingly clear that China’s official narrative should be taken with a grain of salt. What else might the communist regime be trying to hide?