Three Researchers At Wuhan Lab Hospitalized In 2019 With COVID Symptoms
By Bill Galluccio
May 24, 2021
Before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had to be hospitalized after showing symptoms similar to the viral infection. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report said they became ill in November 2019, nearly a month before China reported the first official case of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization.
While U.S. officials knew that the three researchers were sick, a fact sheet released by the State Department during the final days of the Trump administration did not mention that they needed to be hospitalized.
The new intelligence report says that the researchers all had "symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illness." While it does raise further questions about the origin of the virus, which some people believe escaped from the lab in Wuhan, intelligence officials cautioned that they need more evidence to determine where the virus came from.
"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," an unidentified government official told the Wall Street Journal.
China has continued to deny reports that COVID-19 came from the Wuhan lab.
"The U.S. continues to hype the lab leak theory," Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said. "Is it actually concerned about tracing the source or trying to divert attention?"
The Biden administration did not comment on the new report but said that more investigations into the origins of the coronavirus are warranted.
"We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People's Republic of China," said a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. "We're not going to make pronouncements that prejudge an ongoing WHO study into the source of SARS-CoV-2," the spokeswoman said. "As a matter of policy, we never comment on intelligence issues."
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