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REPORT: Researchers at Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November of 2019, furthering COVID origins debate

Three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were hospitalized in November of 2019, according to a newly released US intelligence report.

Details of their sickness have yet to be released, however, the severity of their illness raises questions about the origin of COVID-19. Until now, the virus was believed to have emerged from an animal in a market in Wuhan. China did not report the first case of COVID-19 to the CDC until December 8, 2019. In January of 2021, the Trump administration released a fact sheet stating that several researchers of the lab became ill, “before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.”

The lab focuses on researching coronaviruses and other pathogens, “Wuhan Institute of Virology has 4 research centers, i.e. the Center for Molecular Virology and Pathology, the Center for Analytical Microbiology and Nanobiology, the Center for Microorganisms Resources and Bioinformatics and the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.” After the new findings, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that he is “not convinced” the virus developed naturally. “Certainly, the people who investigated it say it likely was the emergence from an animal reservoir that then infected individuals, but it could have been something else, and we need to find that out,” Fauci said to PolitiFact.

His new stance contradicts his previous denial of inquiries regarding the origin of COVID-19. In an interview with National Geographic, Fauci said, “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated … Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.” He also denied the theory that after developing naturally, the virus was brought into a lab. 

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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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