A new report from The Lancet COVID-19 Commission admits to the possibility of a lab leak being the source of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus, saying it’s “feasible that Sars-Cov-2 emerged from a natural spillover or a lab incident.” The report says “independent researchers have not yet investigated” U.S. labs, and the National Institutes of Health has “resisted disclosing details” of its work.
The Chairman of The Lancet commission is Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, who told a conference in Madrid earlier this year that he was “pretty convinced” Sars-Cov-2 “came out of a U.S. lab of biotechnology, not out of nature” — a statement that made him a virtual national hero in China.
Last month, Sachs appeared on a podcast with vaccine opponent Robert Kennedy. This set off alarm bells in the scientific community because of Kennedy’s questionable claims about vaccines. Several prominent members of the commission criticized Sachs not only for his appearance on the podcast but for what they see as serious ommissions in the final report.
“Sachs’ appearance on RFK Jr’s podcast…undermines the seriousness of the Lancet Commission’s mission to the point of completely negating it,” said Prof Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Canada.
“This may be one of the Lancet’s most shameful moments regarding its role as a steward and leader in communicating crucial findings about science and medicine,” she said, adding that she was “pretty shocked at how flagrantly” the report ignores key evidence on Covid origins.
“It’s true we’ve details to understand on the side of natural origins, for example, the exact intermediate species involved,” says another member of the commission, Prof. David Robertson of the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research. “But that doesn’t mean there’s… any basis to the wild speculation that U.S. labs were involved,” he added.
There’s little doubt that Sachs is carrying water for China. But what about U.S. labs and the “gain of function” research that Fauci, the NIH, and other “experts” keep telling us doesn’t exist? Some of that research took place in U.S. labs. But without investigating them, how are we to be 100% sure?
“Everybody has signed off on the final text. The question of a possible laboratory release mostly involves the question of U.S.-China joint work that was underway on Sars-like viruses,” Sachs told The Telegraph.
Dr. Fauci insists that there was no “gain of function research” conducted with the coronavirus. But not calling the research “gain of function” doesn’t mean that the researchers in Wuhan and the United States didn’t attempt to make the pathogen worse by fiddling with its DNA. Fauci has been playing word games with the exact kind of research conducted on bat coronaviruses, and if Republicans take control of Congress, we may finally get a straight answer.
The commission’s report also dealt with the various responses to the pandemic by other nations. Included in the report is a scathing section on the response of the World Health Organization.
It also criticised the World Health Organization for acting too slowly in the early days of the pandemic, suggesting it “repeatedly erred on the side of reserve rather than boldness” – for instance around the delay in calling a public health emergency, and a “hesitancy” to confirm Covid could spread through airborne transmission.
The UN health agency also “fell victim to the increasing tensions between the United States and China”, the commissioners warned, adding that better international collaboration will be key to prevent epidemics becoming pandemics in future.
Sachs has gotten more flak for appearing with a vaccine denier on a podcast than he has for anything in the report. But entertaining the far-fetched idea that the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus leaked from a U.S. lab has cast a shadow over what many researchers say is an otherwise good report.