Former head of British intelligence Sir Richard Dearlove said he believes Chinese authorities will have most likely destroyed any potential evidence that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan.
Questions have swirled about the origin of the CCP virus, the pathogen that causes COVID-19, with two competing theories continuing to grab headlines—one that the virus made a natural jump from animal to human, and the other that it arose due to a lab leak.
While the thesis that the virus leaked from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was initially dismissed by a number of prominent scientists, including White House adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, there’s now been a remarkable pivot. Fauci has acknowledged that he’s no longer that sure that the virus didn’t leak from the lab, while President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence to “redouble” their efforts to examine both theories, which he characterized as equally plausible.
But Dearlove, who from 1999 to 2004 headed up MI6, the British intelligence agency, told the Telegraph newspaper’s Planet Normal podcast on Thursday that efforts to establish the true origin of the virus face the daunting obstacle that China’s communist officials will have likely destroyed key evidence.
“We don’t know that’s what’s happened, but a lot of data has probably been destroyed or made to disappear, so it’s going to be difficult to prove definitely the case for a gain-of-function chimera being the cause of the pandemic,” Dearlove said.
Gain-of-function research involves increasing the virulence or transmissibility of pathogens to better understand and predict the emergence of disease-causing agents to make it easier to come up with a solution before the disease emerges as a pandemic. While the Wuhan facility, which has links to the Chinese military, likely engaged in gain-of-function research on coronaviruses, heated controversy has erupted over whether U.S. government grants were used for this purpose.
Fauci recently acknowledged that some $600,000 in grants went to the Wuhan facility, and although he denied that it was used to fund gain-of-function research, he admitted he could not be sure the money wasn’t used against its intended purpose, which was to study coronaviruses in bats.
“The sub-grant was about $600,000 over a period of five years. So, it was a modest amount. And the purpose of it was to study the animal-human interface, to do surveillance, and to determine if these bat viruses were even capable of transmitting infection to humans,” Fauci recently told members of Congress.