A scientist who worked at a controversial research lab in China has claimed that COVID was a man-made virus that leaked from the facility, according to a report.
Andrew Huff, who worked for a New York-based non-profit that studied viruses, said COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China two-plus years ago and blamed authorities for the “biggest US intelligence failure since 9/11,” Britain’s The Sun reported Saturday.
The lab has been at the center of fierce debates about the origins of COVID, with both Chinese government officials and lab personnel denying that the virus leaked from the facility.
Huff, an epidemiologist, said in his new book, “The Truth About Wuhan,” that the pandemic was the result of the US government’s funding of coronaviruses in China.
He said that China’s gain-of-function experiments were carried out with lax security, which led to a leak at the Wuhan lab.
“Foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, ultimately resulting in the lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said in his book, which was exclusively excerpted in the newspaper.
Over the last two years, increasing evidence has suggested that the virus was leaked from the lab.
Some experts believe that the virus could have escaped through an infected scientist or the improper disposal of waste from the facility. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, told a European politician that he feared that the virus escaped from the lab in “a catastrophic accident” in 2019, according to a report in the Daily Mail earlier this year.
Huff is a former vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based non-profit that studies infectious diseases. The group has been studying different coronaviruses in bats for more than a decade with funding from the National Institutes of Health, and had forged close ties to the Wuhan lab.
Huff, who worked at EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2016, said that the non-profit helped the Wuhan lab put together the “best existing methods to engineer bat coronaviruses to attack other species” for many years.
“China knew from day one that this was a genetically engineered agent,” Huff wrote. “The US government is to blame for the transfer of dangerous biotechnology to the Chinese.
“I was terrified by what I saw,” the army veteran from Michigan told The Sun. “We were just handing them bioweapon technology.”
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, a state-run and funded research facility home to China’s riskiest coronavirus research, has been under immense pressure by the ruling Chinese Communist Party to produce scientific breakthroughs to raise China’s global status despite lacking resources, according to a recent investigation published by ProPublica/Vanity Fair.