For over a year now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, countless Individuals have laid the blame squarely with China. While former President Donald Trump insisted that it be called the 'China virus' others came up with several postulations for how the deadly virus could have originated. But while theories may come and go, the idea of a lab leak in Wuhan persists.
In mid-2020, Trump told the press that the deadly virus had originated from a virology lab in China's Wuhan city before it spread across the world. While he refused to divulge details, he had assured the media at the time that he had seen enough to be confident about the assessment.
While the theory persisted, there has not been much evidence to support it. Indeed, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said earlier this year that a leak was the least likely cause. Officials however had insisted that additional research was needed. And now, several recent developments appear to have bumped the lab leak theory back to the top of the leaderboard.
Earlier in May 2021, a report by The Weekend Australian cited a paper purportedly written by People’s Liberation Army scientists to say that officials had been discussing ways to weaponise coronaviruses some five years before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The paper, titled in Chinese as "The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons" also features in an upcoming book by an Australian journalist. According to reports, the documents were obtained by the US State Department as a part of their own investigation into the origins of the virus.
But while this might be dismissed as being something of a strange coincidence, another recent revelation makes the theory harder to ignore. As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care in November 2019. According to the article, the details as per a previously undisclosed US intelligence report indicate that the individuals in question had "symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illness".