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.
Genetic match discovered in Covid’s unique furin cleavage site on spike protein
Matched genetic sequence patented by Moderna for cancer research purposes
Researchers say one in 3trillion chance Covid developed the code naturally
Modelling that helped persuade the Government to delay the June 21 reopening was overly pessimistic and the lockdown lifting should “possibly” have gone ahead on time, a government adviser has admitted.
Dr Mike Tildesley, an epidemiologist from Warwick University, said Britain had been in a “much better situation than we thought” when his group released models suggesting third wave deaths could hit 72,000.
Professor Matt Keeling said he wished he ‘hadn’t put these numbers in the study’
Paper said about 107,000 Britons could die by January without a circuit breaker
Study’s findings already been used as ammunition by scientists and politicians
The academic behind a startling study which projected a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ could save thousands of lives by New Year has today admitted his figures were wildly over-estimated.
Professor Keeling told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning: ‘I really, really wish I hadn’t put these numbers in the paper because they were there for illustration.