Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe called the World Health Organization’s dismissal of the belief that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, as ”really disingenuous.”
Ratcliffe appeared on the Fox News Channel on Wednesday evening, disputing WHO’s declaration that SARS-CoV-2 virus was unlikely to have come from the lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and most probably jumped to humans via an intermediary species.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disclosed in January, based on U.S. intelligence, that workers at the lab were infected by the novel coronavirus in August, months before the first cases in the general public were disclosed.
”The Chinese military ordered scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology to experiment with coronaviruses starting as far back as 2017,” Ratcliffe said, bolstering Pompeo’s statements. ”Some of those viruses were 96.2% genetically similar to the current COVID-19 virus, and further, some of those scientists working on the similar coronaviruses became sick with COVID-like symptoms in the fall of 2019.”
The disclosure of WIV staff being infected contradicts public statements by WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli, who said there was ”zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-related viruses.
“What the World Health Organization would have you believe is, after two weeks on the ground there, talking to scientists and the doctors selected by the Chinese Communist Party under the supervision of the Chinese Communist Party, … none of that, what I just related to you about our intelligence, is relevant to a potential lab accident at Wuhan. It’s really just disingenuous,” said Ratcliffe, who was the last DNI in the Trump administration.
Chinese officials have suggested the virus originated in a wet market in Wuhan where wild animal meat is sold, but have also blamed the U.S. military and said it originated in another country.
”What our intelligence says is … it was originated from Wuhan, and whether by accident or otherwise, Chinese officials were aware they had a controllable outbreak, but they took action that resulted in this transferring to the rest of the world — a worldwide pandemic that killed more than 400,000 Americans,” Ratcliffe said.
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