China is once again under the spotlight over the origins of the coronavirus outbreak after a US intelligence report claimed that three researchers working at a biological research facility in Wuhan fell ill prior to the main outbreak in the city in December 2019. Staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology reportedly needed hospitalisation a month prior to the first official reported cases of the virus which would go on to spread and kill more than three million people worldwide.
WION newsreader Palki Sharma discussed the revelations and argued the allegations against China could no longer be “dismissed as a mere rumour.”
Ms Sharma said: “In November 2019 three researchers in China fell sick all three of them worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“The same Wuhan laboratory that is at the centre of this controversy.
“Now all of the three researchers from this lab had to be admitted to hospital and this is around the same time as the outbreak is said to have begun.”
The presenter continued: “These are the findings of US intelligence it is part of a report that has not been shared by the US government with the public.
“But this is not the first time that we have heard of something like this.
“Remember during the Trump administration last year the US State Department had issued a fact sheet it claimed that several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell sick in the Autumn of 2019 and that they showed symptoms consistent with the Wuhan virus.
“And now this new report says pretty much the same thing,” she added “Why is this significant? look at the timing China reported its first case of the Wuhan virus on December 8 2019, these reachers were allegedly hospitalised just before that.”
“But every piece of evidence we saw throughout the entire time I was there suggests that this originating in that laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“I haven’t seen a shred of evidence that suggests anything to the contrary.”
The latest claims the Wuhan lab workers fell ill were first reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing a previously undisclosed US intelligence report.
China’s foreign ministry responded to the WSJ story by saying: “The US continues to hype the lab leak theory. Is it actually concerned about tracing the source or trying to divert attention?”