Coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab in accident: former UK intelligence chief

British-Norwegian study found evidence of human manipulation of virus: The Telegraph

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Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove (Wikicommons, Domusrulez photo)

Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove (Wikicommons, Domusrulez photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The coronavirus may have escaped from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan during an accident, the former head of the UK's foreign intelligence service said in The Telegraph Thursday (June 4).

Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, also said he had recently seen a report claiming the virus had not emerged from nature but was instead man-made.

In a podcast interview with The Telegraph, he suggested that a biosecurity failure might have led to the virus escaping during a gene-splicing experiment on bat coronaviruses. Dearlove added that he did not believe it was deliberately released but that China had clearly tried to cover up the danger.

The retired intelligence chief referred to a report by University of London Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen that claims this virus was different from others as it contained “inserted sections.” The document even said vaccine development would end in failure because scientists had misunderstood the true nature of the coronavirus.

Dearlove said the report had been rejected by multiple scientific publications and watered down, which he claimed was to avoid angering China. Further analysis by Dalgleish and his team is slated for release in the near future, and it says that the Wuhan coronavirus had “unique fingerprints” that could not have evolved naturally, indicating manipulation by humans, The Telegraph reported.

Dearlove questioned the impartiality of the scientific journals which had rejected the earlier analysis, as they had accepted articles from Chinese scientists at short notice, and he praised Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison for daring to demand an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.