A US-based scientist who worked at a controversial research centre in China’s Wuhan has stated that COVID-19 was a “man-made virus” that spilled from the institution.
COVID was released two years ago from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a state-run and sponsored research centre, according to the New York Post, citing a comment in the British daily The Sun by US-based researcher Andrew Huff.
Huff says in his latest book, “The Truth About Wuhan,” that the epidemic was produced by the US government’s support of coronaviruses in China. The UK tabloid The Sun published excerpts from Huff’s book.
Huff is a former vice president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organisation located in New York that investigates infectious illnesses, according to the New York Post.
Huff claims in his book that China’s gain-of-function experiments were conducted with inadequate security, resulting in a leak at the Wuhan lab, according to New York Post.
The Wuhan lab has been the centre of heated debates over the origins of COVID, with both Chinese government officials and lab workers denying that the virus originated there.
“Foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, ultimately resulting in the lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Andrew Huff, said in his book.
For more than a decade, the organisation has been studying several coronaviruses in bats with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has forged close ties to the Wuhan lab.
The NIH is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research.
Huff, who worked at EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2016, stated that the non-profit assisted the Wuhan lab for many years in developing the “best existing methods to engineer bat coronaviruses to attack other species”
“China knew from day one that this was a genetically engineered agent,” Huff wrote. “The US government is to blame for the transfer of dangerous biotechnology to the Chinese.
“I was terrified by what I saw,” he told The Sun, as per New York Post. “We were just handing them bioweapon technology.”
The Post also reports that, according to a recent ProPublica/Vanity Fair investigation, the WIV is home to China’s most dangerous coronavirus research.
Despite a lack of resources, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has put enormous pressure on this research institute to produce scientific breakthroughs in order to raise its global status.