A SCIENTIST was reportedly told by Chinese colleagues that there was a “problem” with the Wuhan lab just days after the pandemic started.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China has been at the centre of fierce scrutiny over the origins of the pandemic[/caption]
A security guard moves journalists away from the Wuhan lab during a visit from the WHO[/caption]
Many scientists and intelligence officials suspect Covid accidentally leaked from the lab in Wuhan[/caption]
He said there was chatter about a “possible problem” in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“I contacted my Chinese friends in early 2020 and I was asking ‘what happened in Wuhan’ and they said there was discussion among them about a possible problem in the lab in Wuhan,” he told The Sun.
“They had heard rumours about this. But then discussions stopped. It means they got instructions to stop.
“And I didn’t ask any more as I didn’t want to compromise my friends.
“I don’t want them to have problems with the Communist Party.”
Goffinet is a member of the newly-created BioSafety Now – a group of experts calling for a crackdown on dangerous virus tests in labs around the world in light of a potential lab leak from Wuhan.
BSL-3 labs are designed to work with potentially devastating viruses, such as yellow fever, West Nile virus, and the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.
Goffinet believes Covid accidentally escaped from the lab while ill-equipped researchers were carrying out risky experiments on bat coronaviruses with low-security biosafety.
And declassified intelligence documents confirmed Wuhan scientists first fell sick in late 2019 with Covid-like symptoms – raising questions over whether they were accidentally infected in the lab.
As previously reported by The Sun, a bombshell study uncovered a number of unnerving biosafety hazards at “crowded and chaotic” labs in Wuhan – including filthy animal cages and crumbling sewers.
Goffinet said: “They were doing a lot of strange experiments modifying bat coronaviruses to see how they could adapt to human cells. They did that on a large scale.
“We don’t know everything they did.
“They didn’t do everything under BSL-3 and BSL-4 conditions – they did a lot of experiments under standard conditions – what we call BSL-2.
“They took risks. They were not careful. There was probably a mistake, and it then spread through the population like wildfire.
“There’s no other explanation.”
He added: “I think something was done wrong in WIV in Zhi Shengli’s lab.
“Wuhan was by far the biggest lab doing this. They collected hundreds of viruses – among them were viruses related to Covid.
“They have done a lot of risky stuff.”
I contacted my Chinese friends… they said there was discussion among them about a possible problem in the lab in the Wuhan
And even as an experience neurobiologist, Goffinet said he refused to work in a high-security lab inas he felt he wasn’t trained to handle dangerous pathogens – unlike the Chinese scientists.
“They wanted to build a small BSL-3 lab for the microbiologists and they asked me if I wanted to collaborate,” he said.
“I said ‘no, because I refuse to do BSL-3 experiments myself.
“I refuse to work in labs like this. It requires training to work in BSL-3 – let alone a BSL-4.
“It requires a lot of training, a lot of discipline. Not everybody is able to do that.
“Personally, I would be incapable of working in those conditions, and you need to be highly focused. It’s not easy.”
It comes as the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a brief which offered no new intelligence on the potential links between the Wuhan lab and the origins of Covid.
The document was finally released late on Friday after a five-day delay – but many slammed the Biden administration for failing to release any new intelligence on Wuhan.
Goffinet said: “This declassified summary does not make me happy to say the least, as it contains absolutely nothing new.
“Either they declassified what they know and they look incompetent. Or they did not declassify anything significant. I lean for the second possibility.
“The reason? In the latest report, I see nothing that would have been worth classifying in the first place.”
Biosafety expert Richard Ebright told The Sun: “It is dismaying that a sitting president of the United States breaks the law, violates the oath of office, and shows contempt for the public on a matter of national importance.”
Gary Ruskin, executive director of US Right to Know, described it as an “underwhelming, incomplete report”.
“ODNI was required to ‘declassify any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology’ and the origin of Covid,” he told The Sun.
“But it plainly did not do this. One could speculate about why.
“But the Biden administration is not showing itself to be a friend to transparency. Congress should instruct ODNI to obey the law, or if necessary, compel it to do so.
“It should use its subpoena power more aggressively to compel testimony and documents that will help us all understand how Covid came about.”
The Biden administration is not showing itself to be a friend to transparency
The intelligence brief confirmed what many journalists, scientists and experts have previously uncovered.
Wuhan researchers become “mildly ill” with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019, it said, and the lab worked with the Chinese army on coronaviruses, vaccines and for “defensive and biosecurity needs of the military”.
As previously reported by The Sun, it also confirmed the Wuhan lab was equipped to seamlessly create genetically modified viruses with no trace, it also confirmed.
They genetically engineered viruses, and created chimeras of SARS-like coronaviruses through genetic engineering and reverse-cloning techniques, it said.
Jamie Metzl, a former adviser to the WHO on human genome editing, said: “It is, once again, confirmed that scientists at the WIV were doing potentially dangerous research on potentially pathogenic viruses under sub-standard safety protocols, including in 2019.”
The report also confirms there were significant biosafety concerns at the Wuhan lab with old equipment and a “shortage of appropriately trained personnel”.
But the intelligence brief failed to name the scientists who fell sick in 2019 – despite recent reports revealing the identities of the three as Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu.
Several US government officials identified the three scientists in a bombshell report by journalists Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi.
China has long been accused of attempting to cover up or distort its role in the story of Covid – something it denies.
But last month, China’s own former government scientist admitted the Wuhan lab leak theory should not be ruled out.
Andre Goffinet revealed how he spoke to colleagues in China in early 2020[/caption]