One of the leading World Health Organization officials admitted this week that its report on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic did not seriously address the theory that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab—because China demanded that the WHO exclude it.
Peter Embarek, who spearheaded the joint commission that the WHO sent to China, acknowledged in an interview with a Danish news network, translated by a Summit News source, that the lab-leak theory is much more likely than the WHO’s origins report suggested.
“An employee who was infected in the field by taking samples falls under one of the probable hypotheses,” he said.
The WHO’s investigation, rather, asserted that the lab leak theory was “extremely unlikely,” while a natural origins theory was much more likely.
Embarek explained that WHO investigators only dismissed the lab-leak theory because Chinese officials demanded that they do so.
“In the beginning, they didn’t want anything about the lab [in the report], because it was impossible, so there was no need to waste time on that,” he said. “We insisted on including it, because it was part of the whole issue about where the virus originated.”
A discussion of whether to include the lab-leak theory at all lasted until 48 hours before the investigation was supposed to conclude, Embarek said.
Eventually, Embarek’s Chinese counterpart agreed to discuss the lab-leak theory in the report “on the condition we didn’t recommend any specific studies to further that hypothesis,” he said.
When asked why the Chinese government resisted the WHO’s efforts to discuss the lab-leak theory, he said the Chinese political system does not allow authorities to acknowledge “human error.”
“It probably means there’s a human error behind such an event, and they’re not very happy to admit that,” he said. “The whole system focuses a lot on being infallible, and everything must be perfect. Somebody could also wish to hide something. Who knows?”
Mounting speculation in the US now centers on the possibility that the Chinese lab—with support from US agencies—was conducting controversial gain-of-function research that involved mutating organic viruses into deadly and more contagious strains.
Such research may be used to develop vaccines preemptively, before a pandemic hits, but also to pursue biological weapons.