Former UK Spy Chief Tells Security Services: Don’t Dismiss Theory Coronavirus Came from Chinese Lab

A man wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus walks past a Communist Party flag along a street in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on March 31, 2020. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)
NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

The former head of MI6 has warned his former colleagues in the intelligence service and the scientific community not to dismiss the theory that the Chinese coronavirus came from a lab in Wuhan, after last month revealing that a study claimed COVID-19 had elements “inserted” into it.

Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service from 1999 to 2004, doubled down this week on his assessment that coronavirus may have been manufactured in a lab in Wuhan and had accidentally escaped.

The official scientific theory maintains that it originated naturally, mutating from bat to human, perhaps through an intermediary animal. It is believed that it started at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, where live animals are sold for human consumption.

“I subscribe to the theory… that it’s an engineered escapee from the Wuhan Institute [of Virology],” said the former head of the Secret Intelligence Service.

“There is an accumulation of evidence that this is something that has to be openly discussed in the scientific community,” he said, as he urged for the possibility to be properly investigated.

“If we are going to have an inquiry in the UK — which I’m sure will happen — about the pandemic and government policy, it will have to start with the science. Where did this virus actually come from?” the former spy chief, whose role was informally known as “C”, asked.

Responding to claims that the current heads of Britain’s security and intelligence services will not entertain the theory that Chinese coronavirus could have been manmade, Dearlove told Sky News on Sunday: “I am just staggered. They clearly haven’t read the science. And they haven’t attempted to understand it. The onus is now on the leadership of China to explain why the theory and the hypothesis that it could be engineered is wrong.”

Richard Dearlove first discussed the scientific basis for the Wuhan coronavirus being manmade in June. In response, MI5 — Britain’s domestic intelligence agency — reportedly claimed the remarks from the seasoned intelligence officer were based on “fake news”.

Last month, Dearlove had quoted a joint British-Norwegian paper which claimed the virus had “unique fingerprints” which were “indicative of purposive manipulation” that therefore could not have happened through spontaneous natural mutation. The paper also suggested its origins were indeed in China.

Allegedly, the academic community did not accept the paper for publication until it was revised, according to Dearlove, to reduce the explicit blame on the communist superpower.

“This [the first] article was submitted to a… journal, which refused it within a week of receiving it, and in the same period accepted for publication two or three Chinese articles that relate to the virus, within 48 hours,” Sir Richard said.

He added: “Let’s suggest that the Chinese maybe have too much say in their journals, in what appears and what doesn’t.”

A Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States) report revealed in May that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) not only suppressed news of the virus in the early days of the outbreak, but destroyed laboratory samples, refused to give evidence to international scientists, and ‘disappeared’ Chinese whistle-blowers.

The leaked report also criticised the World Health Organization (WHO) for echoing Chinese propaganda until January 20th that there was no danger of human-to-human transmission, “Yet officials in Taiwan raised concerns as early as December 31, as did experts in Hong Kong on January 4.”

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