A lab in Wuhan has broken its silence about accusations that the coronavirus was created there.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology fiercely denies the claims and says that they are a ‘conspiracy’ designed to ‘confuse’ the public.
Yuan Zhiming, vice director at the lab, said: “As people who carry out viral study, we clearly know what kind of research is going on in the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. As we said early on, there is no way this virus came from us.
“We have a strict regulatory regime and code of conduct of research, so we are confident.”
The origin of the virus has been widely debated, with many claiming that it was manmade in Wuhan.
Donald Trump often refers the virus as the ‘China virus’, and added last week that ‘a lot of strange things are happening’ regarding the origins.
Speaking to NBC News, the American intelligence community confirmed that it’s examining whether the coronavirus was manmade in the Wuhan lab, or has natural origins.
An official said: “It’s a possibility, though not the most likely possibility.”
The Wuhan lab’s statement comes shortly after a study found no evidence that the coronavirus was man-made.
Researchers from Scripps Research have analysed the public genome sequence data for the virus, and have found ‘no evidence’ that the virus was made in a lab.
Instead, their analysis suggests that that the virus is the product of natural evolution.
Dr Kristian Andersen, an author of the study, said: “By comparing the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains, we can firmly determine that SARS-CoV-2 originated through natural processes.”
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