In March 2020, some colleagues in Parliament, knowing I was interested in genetics and medicine, asked me if I thought Covid began with a lab leak. “No,” I replied confidently. In this I relied on conversations with expert virologists and a paper that five of them published in Nature Medicine categorically ruling it out: “Our analyses clearly show that Sars-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposely manipulated virus.”
Today, I feel betrayed. Thanks to emails released under Freedom of Information this week, we now know that they did think a lab leak was possible, and the evidence that they then used to dismiss it was faulty.
All but one scientist who penned a letter in The Lancet dismissing the possibility that coronavirus could have come from a lab in Wuhan were linked to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or funders, a Telegraph investigation can reveal.
The influential journal published a letter on March 7 last year from 27 scientists in which they stated that they “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” surrounding Covid-19.