SCIENTISTS at a Chinese lab linked to the outbreak of Covid revealed how they were bitten by bats and spattered with blood before “patient zero” infected the world.
A researcher from the Wuhan Institute of Virology claimed fangs went through his rubber gloves “like a needle” while collecting samples in a cave packed with infected bats.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updatesScientists at the the Wuhan Institute of Virology ‘admitted to being attacked by bats’[/caption] Swelling on one researcher’s limb after being bitten during experiments[/caption] The Wuhan Institute of Virology has sought to push back against claims the lab was the source of the pandemic[/caption]
A video – which first emerged two years ago – appears to show scientists working on “live viruses” without gloves and masks in an apparent breach of World Health Organisation safety rules.
Virus expert Huang Yanling was named online in China during the very first worrying reports of the deadly pandemic back in February last year.
The US State Department believes she was the first of several working at the controversial institute who fell ill in the autumn of 2019 – months before the virus was officially acknowledged.
The claims created a link between the pandemic and the lab – which houses zoonotic bat diseases – and sparked fears the virus was accidentally leaked during experiments.
China has long been accused of attempting to cover up or distort its role in the story of Covid.
Chinese officials and the lab itself deny all allegations, but circumstantial evidence is mounting – and even the WHO have ordered a fresh probe.US President Joe Biden has ordered US intelligence officials to ‘redouble their efforts’ to probe the origins of the pandemic[/caption] A patient arriving at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, China in January 2020[/caption] Journalists gather at the fence looking into the Wuhan Institute of Virology[/caption]
Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have pushed the theory that the virus emerged from the lab rather than naturally through human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan.
Despite being condemned as a “conspiracy theory” for the last year, the possibility that the pandemic was caused by a lab leak has become increasingly mainstream in recent days.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden told US intelligence officials to “redouble their efforts” to probe the origins of the pandemic – including any possibility the trail might lead to Wuhan.
The Biden administration has spent months minimising the possibility that the virus originated in a lab, but it is now calling on China to be transparent about the outbreak.
US top virus expert Dr Anthony Fauci also said he was “not convinced” Covid developed naturally and called for a full investigation amid claims of a cover-up.
But China lashed out at Biden today and accused him of “playing politics and shirking its responsibility”.Shi Zhengli working in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology[/caption] Statues along a street in Wuhan are seen with masks placed on them[/caption]
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Biden’s order showed the US “does not care about facts and truth, nor is it interested in serious scientific origin tracing”.
Zhao said the US must also open itself up to investigations into its biological labs – including at the military’s Fort Detrick base.
“We would like to ask the US side to do the same as China and immediately cooperate with the World Health Organisation on origin tracing research in a scientific manner,” Zhao said.
In the UK, top advisor Dominic Cummings revealed how Prime Minister Boris Johnson was briefed on the fears Covid may have originally leaked from the Wuhan lab in earliest days of the pandemic.
The extraordinary revelation shows discussions over a possible lab leak at the highest levels of government – even as it was dismissed publicly by many scientists and politicians as a baseless “conspiracy theory”.
But questions still remain over whether or not the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and sparked the pandemic.
‘INSULT TO BILLIONS’
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ordered a new probe just as the WHO-China joint investigation team released a long awaited and much derided report which ruled out the possibility as “extremely unlikely”.
Investigators had been blasted over the 123-page document which was branded an “insult to billions” as the United Nations body was accused of bending over backwards to appease China.
And Tedros acknowledged: “I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions.”
He added: “Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.”
The WHO chief voiced concern that the international team had difficulty accessing raw data during the mission – with China feared to have concealed much information about the early days of Covid.Scientists from the Wuhan lab regularly studied wild bats during their research[/caption] Many countries have called for full access to all data about the early stages of the outbreak[/caption]
The US, Norway, Canada, Britain and other countries have expressed concerns about the WHO-led Covid origins study, and called for full access to all data about the early stages of the outbreak.
Adding weight to calls for another probe, a bombshell spy report revealed this week how three Wuhan lab staff became sick and needed hospital care weeks before China disclosed the virus outbreak to the world.
Citing a previously undisclosed US intelligence report, the Wall Street Journal said the dossier revealed fresh details on the number of researchers affected.
It shows the timing of their illnesses and their hospital visits in November 2019 – when China officially detected the outbreak.
And documents also revealed how Chinese scientists probed weaponising coronaviruses five years before the pandemic.
‘NEW ERA OF GENETIC WEAPONS’
Documents obtained by the US State Department reportedly show People’s Liberation Army commanders predicted World War 3 would be fought with biological weapons.
Chinese scientists described SARS coronaviruses – of which Covid is an example – as heralding a “new era of genetic weapons”.
They boasted the viruses could be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before”.
In one shocking video from the under-fire Wuhan lab, researchers were seen collecting potentially highly infectious bat feces with no noticeable personal protective equipment other than gloves.
One man told how he was bitten by a bat, claiming it felt “like being jabbed with a needle”.
The video then cuts to a person’s limb showing swelling from another bite and the narrator points out the fact that bats can carry a variety of potent viruses.
Last year, The Sun revealed how the Wuhan lab lied about taking safety precautions when collecting bat samples.
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Shocking leaked photos – which revealed a scandalous lack of safety – were deleted from the website of under-fire China science hub.
In the wake of claims, cables were sent to the US State Department from the embassy warning about the risks of experiments on bats.
One read: “During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”