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.
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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.
Lockdowns are ‘awful’ and Britain must learn to live with Covid without restrictions, one of the country’s most senior scientists has warned.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the measures had had ‘very profound consequences’ on the nation’s mental health, education and jobs.