U.S. scientists say China hampering search for virus origin

U.S. scientists say China hampering search for virus origin, by Bill Gertz.

American scientists are actively working to learn the origin of the deadly coronavirus behind the pandemic now spreading around the world, but say a lack of Chinese virus samples has hampered research. …

Robert G. Darling, a medical doctor and expert on biological weapons formerly with the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, said it is crucial that researchers find out where the virus originated and how it spread. …

The Chinese almost certainly know but they have not shared it. By learning its origin it will better help us understand the biology of the virus and how it behaves.”

It’s the lab in Wuhan, but we can’t say that yet:

A senior State Department official said questions about the origin of the virus need to be answered and noted recent published reports about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which houses China’s sole high-security virus research center, have raised questions about whether the virus may have leaked.

“It’s the only Level 4 lab in the PRC, built in response to SARS in 2003, so the question is a valid one,” the official said.

However, the official added that “until we are absolutely certain where this is coming from, it would be irresponsible to put something out about lab origins” of the virus. …

China’s government has been largely silent on the origin of the virus, while saying the virus made a natural jump from bats to humans or from bats to another wild animal and then to humans. …

The Chinese have asked for scientific inquiries into whether the virus was created by the United States — a charge U.S. officials have vehemently dismissed as disinformation.