Dominic Raab says UK does not believe Covid-19 escaped from lab

UK believes ‘on balance’ that coronavirus did NOT escape from Wuhan lab and it is ‘much more likely to have jumped from animals to humans’, says Dominic Raab

  • Dominic Raab said ‘officials have been comparing notes’ on the lab leak theory 
  • Foreign Secretary said ‘on balance we do not believe’ Covid-19 came from lab
  • But Mr Raab said ‘we don’t have all of the answers’ on how the outbreak began

Dominic Raab today said the UK does not currently believe the theory that Covid-19 may have escaped from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. 

The Foreign Secretary said on the ‘balance of probabilities’ Britain is of the view that the virus did not originate in a lab. 

He said the Government believes it is ‘much more likely’ that coronavirus ‘jumped’ from animals to humans. 

But he said officials at the G7 summit in Cornwall have been ‘comparing notes’ on the subject and the world does not yet have ‘all of the answers’ about how the pandemic began. 

Dominic Raab today said the UK does not currently believe the theory that Covid-19 may have escaped from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan

The head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the possibility that the pandemic was triggered by a lab leak ‘was raised’ at the G7 and ‘we discussed about the origins’.

A WHO investigation into the origin of the pandemic has not ruled out any theory behind the outbreak.

A team of experts from the WHO and China said in February that the virus was ‘extremely unlikely’ to have entered the human population as a result of a laboratory-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

But the WHO has said ‘all hypotheses still remain on the table’ and wants to carry out a second phase of its work, while US President Joe Biden has ordered an investigation into the origins, including the leak theory.

Asked if he had been involved in G7 discussions about the lab leak theory, Mr Raab told Sky News: ‘I haven’t personally but of course it has created part of the backdrop and officials have been comparing notes on this.

‘If you are asking me whether we think on the balance of probabilities, if you like, that it originated in a lab, our best information for now is that it didn’t.

‘But we don’t have all of the answers, that is why internationally we wanted the review to be able to go into to get all of the answers, to have all the cooperation, so we have the full picture rather than these possible, potential, plausible options.

The head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the possibility that the pandemic was triggered by a lab leak ‘was raised’ at the G7 and ‘we discussed about the origins’

‘But on balance we do not believe that it came from a laboratory. We think it is much more likely to have jumped if you like from animals to humans.’

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal, citing a previously undisclosed US intelligence report, claimed three researchers from the Wuhan lab sought hospital care in November 2019.  

The report, which provided fresh details on the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits, sparked renewed calls for a probe into whether the virus came from a lab. 

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