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There’s more evidence that COVID-19 started in a lab, expert says

Dr. Scott Gottlieb said there’s growing evidence COVID-19 originated in a lab

Biological science specialists, background, wear biosafety protective clothing for handling viral diseases at U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick.
Biological science specialists, background, wear biosafety protective clothing for handling viral diseases at U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., on March 19, 2020. Dr. Scott Gottlieb said there’s growing evidence COVID-19 originated in a lab.
Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said this week that there’s growing evidence that the novel coronavirus started in a lab.

  • Gottlieb told CNBC: “People a year ago who said this probably came from nature, it’s really unlikely it came from a lab, maybe a year ago that kind of a statement made a lot of sense because that was the more likely scenario. But we haven’t found the true source of this virus.”
  • “It’s not for lack of trying, there has been an exhaustive search,” he added.

Where did COVID-19 come from?

Gottlieb’s comments come as a new report found that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology got so sick that they were hospitalized in November 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported. The hospitalizations happened before the first confirmed coronavirus outbreak.

  • The report said the researchers got sick “with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illness,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The World Health Organization and Chinese researchers said the most likely theory of the virus’ origin is that it was transmitted from bats to humans through a third animal. It’s unclear what the linking animal was. However, the WHO said there is another theory the virus originated in a lab.

  • “The question for a lot of people is going to be when are too many coincidences too much, when does it seem that there’s too many things suggesting that this could have come out of a lab,” Gottlieb told CNBC.