The former head of the World Health Organization team has admitted that Chinese officials pressured them to conclude that a leak from the Wuhan lab was “extremely unlikely” in their report on the pandemic and its origins.
A Danish scientist named Peter Ben Embarek who is with the World Health Organization and was one of the leaders of the international team that traveled to Wuhan earlier in 2021 is reportedly pointing the finger at China over the leak. The Who issued a report in conjunction with China that dismissed the possibility that the virus originated in a Chinese government lab.
Embarek is now reportedly admitting in a documentary that China pressured his group to absolve the Wuhan lab of leaking the virus according to TV2, a television station in Denmark.
“Until 48 hours before we finished the whole mission, we still had no agreement that we would talk about the laboratory part of the report, so it was right up to the end that it was discussed whether it should be included or not,” Embarek noted. “In the beginning, they did not want anything about the laboratory [in the report], because it was impossible, and therefore one should not waste time on it.”
(Video Credit: Fox Business)
He spoke of dealing with the Chinese, stating, “I said, ‘Listen here. We must have this with us, otherwise, we have no report. It will not be approved or accepted as a sensible, credible report.’ And he could see that, but he told me also that for them, it is difficult to accept that discussion about a laboratory.”
It should be noted that Embarek believes that a lab leak is “unlikely.” Nevertheless, the Danish documentary he is doing reveals that he compromised with the Chinese officials who didn’t want it in the report. Instead, they reported that it was an “extremely unlikely” conclusion.
“There were other things I wanted in place before we finished,” he claimed. “So, it was a conscious choice.”
Evidently the Chinese would only allow a mention of the possibility of a lab leak in the report “on the condition we didn’t recommend any specific studies to further that hypothesis.” Embarek was asked by the Washington Post if the “extremely unlikely” terminology was a requirement from China and he responded, “It was the category we chose to put it in at the end, yes.”
The Chinese have been non-transparent concerning the virus and they allegedly held too much sway over the investigation.
Embarek asserted in February that the possibility that the virus leaked from the lab didn’t merit further inquiry and that it was “extremely unlikely.” Just days following that claim, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reversed it, stating, “All hypotheses remain open and require further study.”
Now, he is saying that it is possible that a lab worker could get infected while studying bats. He intimated that patient zero was a worker at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“The laboratory discharge hypothesis actually covers several scenarios. One of them is that an employee in the laboratory gets infected out in the field while he or she collects samples in a bat cave. Although it is part of laboratory emissions, it is also part of the first hypothesis we have, i.e. direct transfer from bats to humans, and we have considered that hypothesis as a probable hypothesis,” Embarek said. “An employee who was infected in the field by taking samples falls under one of the probable hypotheses. This is where the virus jumps directly from a bat to a human. In that case, it would then be a laboratory worker instead of a random villager or other person who has regular contact with bats. So, it is actually in the probable category.”
Also, the WHO team lead considers researcher getting infected in the field in the "likely" category —as a mix of "lab-leak" and direct infection— and also says there could have been human error but "the Chinese political system does not allow authorities to acknowledge that." pic.twitter.com/sSHFmA2VVU
— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) August 12, 2021
“It’s probably because it means that there is a human error behind such an incident, and they are not very happy to admit it,” Embarek is now quoted as saying concerning China’s denial of a lab leak. “There is partly the traditional Asian feeling that you should not lose face, and then the whole system also focuses a lot on the fact that you are infallible and that everything must be perfect. It could also be that someone wants to hide something. Who knows?”
After this aired, Embarek claimed to the Washington Post that the interview was mistranslated, “It is a wrong translation from a Danish article.”
“There are only four pages in the report about it, but it is four very special pages. Four golden pages I would say we have here,” Embarek defensively stated on Danish TV. “It’s the only place where people talk about it from the Chinese side.”
Wuhan lab workers have referred to a lab leak as “rumors,” “myths,” and “conspiracy theories.”
Embarek admitted that the investigation was basically a sham, “We did not get to look at laboratory books or documents directly from the laboratory.”
He noted that another lab in Wuhan needed a closer look. It’s run by China’s CDC and is allegedly 1,600 feet from the Huanan seafood market.
“I ask the management: ‘How old is the laboratory?’ And then they say, ‘Well, it’s from December 2019. There we moved to these new laboratories on December 2, 2019,'” Embarek reported. “This is the period when it all started, and you know that when you move a laboratory, it is disruptive to everything. Their last publication about working with bats was from 2013, but that does not mean that they have not worked with bats since.”
Embarek’s documentary “The Virus Mystery” airs Thursday night on Danish television
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