Dr Peter Embarek, who led the WHO probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in China, made the shocking claim despite initially dismissing the notion that the virus escaped from a lab as extremely unlikely. Embarek has now admitted that the lab leak theory could have happened, suggesting that a Chinese researcher could have been infected by a bat while taking samples in connection with research at a Wuhan lab. Embarek told Denmark’s television station TV2: “An employee who was infected in the field by taking samples falls under one of the probable hypotheses.”
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“This is where the virus jumps directly from a bat to a human.” He explained: “In that case, it would then be a laboratory worker instead of a random villager or other person who has regular contact with bats. So it is actually in the probable category.” The Danish scientist stressed that the WHO investigators found no direct evidence of this.
Some reports have found that horseshoe bats are central in the scientific investigation work of where COVID came from. Horseshoe bats in the Wuhan area are not found outdoors, with the only known close human contact to be employees working in the city labs. Prof Embarek said he and his team visited two laboratories in the Wuhan area. During the visit to one, he told TV2 how he asked the management how old the lab was.
Prof Embarek said: “And then they said, well it’s from December 2019. Then we moved to these new laboratories on December 2, 2019.” It was noted the new lab location was 500 metres from the Wuhan live animal market at the centre of the pandemic. However, Prof Embarek said more evidence is needed to establish what role the laboratory may have played.