REVEALED: 26 out of the 27 Lancet scientists who trashed theory that Covid leaked from a Chinese lab have links to Wuhan researchers
- The Lancet letter published in March 2020 called claims that Covid-19 originated in lab ‘conspiracy theories’
- It was signed by 27 scientists from across the globe working in virology and other medical science fields
- The widely-read letter effectively ended all debate about origins of the global coronavirus pandemic
- Investigation by The Telegraph has found 26 out of 27 had connections to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology
PUBLISHED: 11:24 BST, 11 September 2021 | UPDATED: 14:59 BST, 11 September 2021
Of the 27 scientists who wrote a letter in The Lancet medical journal dismissing the possibility that Covid-19 originated from a Wuhan lab, 26 have links to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or its benefactors, a new investigation has revealed.
On March 7 last year, the influential journal published the letter in which the 27 scientists said they ‘strongly condemned conspiracy theories’ surrounding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted all corners of the world.
All debate into whether Covid-19 had man-made origins or leaked from the lab in Wuhan – the Chinese city that was ground-zero for the virus – was effectively shut down by the letter.
However, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph newspaper into the signatories has found that 26 of the 27 had some link to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the leak was suspected – calling into question their impartiality.
Signatories include Dr Peter Daszak, the British president of EcoHealth Alliance, which funnelled money into controversial research at a Wuhan Institute of Virology, and UK Government scientific adviser Sir Jeremy Farrar.
Only one – Dr Ronald Corley, a microbiology expert from Boston University – has been found to have no links back to funders or researchers at the Wuhan institute.
Dr Peter Daszak
Zoologist, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
The orchestrator of the letter, British zoologist Peter Daszak, was already found to have a conflict of interest through him being president of the US-based EcoHealth Alliance, which has funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Despite declaring no conflicts of interest at the time the letter was penned, The Lancet was forced to publish an addendum to the letter acknowledging Daszak’s connection to EcoHealth Alliance.