Although the magazine Lancet has doubled down on its efforts to defend China and claim that there is no evidence behind the lab-leak theory of the coronavirus origins, three prominent scientists who originally agreed with this assessment were absent from the magazine’s latest statement, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
On July 5th, the magazine published yet another statement, with numerous signatories, claiming that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the suspicious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Although many of the names signed onto the statement were the same as those who made a similar assertion back in February of 2020, at least three names are missing.
One of the names is William Karesh, who serves as the executive vice president for health policy at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. As has been widely documented, EcoHealth was a major benefactor of the WIV, providing gain-of-function research funding directly to the institute after the funds had been granted to the nonprofit by the United States government.
EcoHealth is led by Peter Daszak, who was recently removed from Lancet’s formal commission on the origins of the virus, due to his questionable ties to the WIV. Despite this, he signed onto both the February 2020 and the July 2021 statements doubling down on the notion that there was no lab leak.
The other two names absent from this latest statement are Peter Palese of the Icahn School of Medicine and Bernard Roizman of the University of Chicago. When Karesh was asked if he had removed his name due to changing his mind on the theory, he simply responded with “No comment.”
The absence of three original signatories seems to imply a growing divide among alleged “experts” on whether or not the lab leak theory is true. More evidence has emerged in recent months backing up previously-ridiculed claims of such an origin, including the fact that several workers at the WIV reported having coronavirus symptoms as early as November 2019. These reports, including the revealing of EcoHealth’s ties to the institute, have led to numerous U.S. government agencies severing their ties with EcoHealth and halting further funding to the WIV, which has been known to experiment with coronavirus strains in bats and other animals.