by Ashis Sinha
RNS: Andrew Huff, a US-based scientist, who worked at a controversial research lab in China’s Wuhan, has said that Covid-19 was a “man-made virus” that leaked from the facility.
Covid was leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a state-run and funded research facility, two years ago, the New York Post reported, quoting US-based researcher Andrew Huff’s statement in the British newspaper The Sun.
Epidemiologist Huff says in his latest book, ‘The Truth About Wuhan,’ that the pandemic was triggered by the US government’s support of coronaviruses in China. The UK tabloid The Sun published excerpts from Huff’s book.
Huff is a former vice president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organisation based in New York that studies infectious diseases, according to the New York Post.
According to the New York Post, Huff alleges in his book that China’s gain-of-function studies were conducted with inadequate security, resulting in a leak at the Wuhan lab.
The Wuhan lab has been the site of heated arguments about the virus’s origins, with both Chinese government authorities and lab employees disputing that the virus originated there.
“Foreign laboratories lacked adequate control procedures to ensure effective biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, culminating in the lab breach at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Andrew Huff wrote in his book.
The organisation has been studying multiple coronaviruses in bats for more than a decade, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has developed close links with the Wuhan lab.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the major US government institution in charge of biomedical and public health research.
Huff, who worked at EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2016, says that the non-profit helped the Wuhan lab establish the “best existing ways to modify bat coronaviruses to infect other species” for several years.
“China knew this was a genetically modified agent from the start,” Huff wrote. “The transmission of harmful biotechnology to the Chinese is the fault of the US administration.”
“I was terrified by what I saw,” he told The Sun, as per New York Post. “We were just handing them bioweapon technology.” The Post also reports that according to a recent investigation published by ProPublica/Vanity Fair, the WIV is home to China’s riskiest coronavirus research.