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3 researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care before Covid-19 outbreak disclosed, reveals report
The report by Wall Street Journal provides fresh details on the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits.
The suspicion that the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 virus could have emerged from a Chinese laboratory mounted on Monday as a report claimed that 3 researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care after they fell ill in November 2019, nearly a month before Beijing reported its first COVID case. The revelations come on the eve of a meeting of the World Health Organization’s decision-making body, which is expected to discuss the next phase of investigation into the origin of Covid-19.
Referring to previously undisclosed US intelligence data, the report by Wall Street Journal provides fresh details on the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits. A US State Department fact sheet released by the Trump administration in January said that the researchers had become sick in autumn 2019 and displayed “symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness.”
Was SARS-CoV-2 virus created in a Wuhan lab? New report claims Chinese authorities knew when Covid-19 escaped
Notably, China reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) that the first patient with Covid-like symptoms was recorded in Wuhan on December 8, 2019.
“The US government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses,” the report read.
Furthermore, the daily reported that the current and former officials familiar with the intelligence about the lab researchers expressed differing views about the strength of the supporting evidence for the assessment. One person said that it was provided by an international partner and was potentially significant but still in need of further investigation and additional corroboration.
Another person described the intelligence as stronger. “The information that we had coming from the various sources was of exquisite quality. It was very precise. What it didn’t tell you was exactly why they got sick,” he said, referring to the researchers.