WHO Adviser: I'm '85%' Sure COVID Came from a Lab


Our remarkably incurious media!

Does anyone remember when Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, had the audacity to suggest that COVID-19 may have originated in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China? He was condemned by liberal media outlets like The Washington Post as a conspiracy theorist.

The left’s talking point, that blaming China for this virus was racist and xenophobic, quickly became the Democratic Party-approved narrative.

Therefore, it came as a surprise when Democratic foreign affairs expert Jamie Metzl announced he is “85 percent” sure that the coronavirus came from a research lab in Wuhan.

Metzl is a highly credible figure. He held a variety of senior positions during the Clinton administration and served as the senior deputy staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Senator Joe Biden, who chaired the committee from 2001-2003.

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Metzl is currently a member of the World Health Organization’s advisory committee on developing global standards for governance and oversight of human genome editing as well as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a liberal think tank involved in foreign affairs.

On April 16, 2020, Metzl published an article in which he asserted “the most likely starting point of the coronavirus crisis is an accidental leak from one of the Chinese virology institutes in Wuhan.” He has updated this report as new information has become available. The most recent update was on Jan. 15.

It’s important to note that his conclusion has remained the same: That the outbreak started in a Chinese lab.  Metzl writes that he’s “been making this claim consistently since January 2020 and will continue to do so until this issue gets the attention it deserves.”

“Let me be clear,” Metzl informs his readers, “I do not believe this was likely a genome edited virus (although this paper suggests how it could have been and we should not discount this possibility), just that it had very likely been isolated and cultured in one of the Wuhan labs (the Wuhan CDC or, more likely, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, WIV).”

Do you think COVID-19 came from a Chinese laboratory?

He also emphasizes that, “this is only highly informed inference based on publicly available information and my application of Occam’s razor (and mathematical probabilities). I have no definitive way of proving this thesis but the evidence is, in my view, extremely convincing. If forced to place odds on the confidence of my hypothesis, I would say there’s an 85% chance the pandemic started with an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or Wuhan CDC and a 15% chance it began in some other way (in fairness, here is an article making the case for a zoonotic jump ‘in the wild’).”

“If China keeps preventing a full and unrestricted international forensic investigation into the origins of the pandemic, I believe it is fair to deny Beijing the benefit of the doubt,” Metzl writes.

Metzl then presents his evidence “so that readers can come to their own conclusions” and states that he does not have a political agenda.

Citing 51 sources including The Lancet medical journal, The Wall Street Journal, other news outlets and many scientific research publications, Metzl prepared an intensely detailed timeline of events.

In the meantime, a team of scientists from the World Health Organization began an investigation into the origins of the virus last week in the city of Wuhan and arrived at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab on Wednesday, according to CNN.

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Predictably, CNN refers to the lab as “the focus of conspiracies and speculation about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.” The writers’ skepticism that the virus may have escaped from the lab is obvious throughout the article. They write, “Although the stridently anti-China Trump administration suggested this could have taken place in Wuhan, most experts disagree.” Their strong bias, in my opinion, renders the entire piece suspect.

Given that over a year has elapsed since the pandemic began, expectations about what the team will learn are mixed.

Dr. Peter Daszak, a British zoologist on the WHO team, told Sky News, “They are sharing data with us that we have not seen before – that no one has seen before. They are talking with us openly about every possible pathway. We really are getting somewhere and I think every member of the team would say that.”

Still, after all the lies from Chinese officials and the agency that provided cover for them, it’s difficult to entirely believe that.

The Daily Mail includes a comparison of China’s official timeline, which shows Dec. 8, 2019, as the “earliest date that China has acknowledged an infection,” versus new evidence that indicates the virus was present months earlier than China admits. The Daily Mail reports that in September 2019, “blood samples” were “taken in a lung cancer screening trial in Italy which later test[ed] positive for coronavirus.”

COVID-19 is an equal opportunity offender. It doesn’t discriminate based on one’s political affiliation. Rather than immediately becoming a political football, it should have remained a medical/humanitarian issue.

This virus has turned the world upside down in the past year. In the United States, it has (arguably) claimed about 450,000 lives and brought our economy to a screeching halt. It has killed jobs and kept our children out of school for nearly a year. And, although it cannot be proven, is almost certainly responsible for President Joe Biden’s unfortunate victory.

Why isn’t our media concerned about finding out about its origins? Why do so many members of our national media cartel call us “racist” for advancing very plausible theories about where it came from? Most importantly, why are so many Democrats so beholden to China?

The truth is the truth, and if this theory is the truth, then it shouldn’t matter whom it hurts.

Did you know that The Western Journal now publishes some content in Spanish as well as English, for international audiences? Click here to read this article on The Western Journal en Español!

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Elizabeth writes commentary for The Western Journal and The Washington Examiner. Her articles have appeared on many websites, including MSN, RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist and RealClearPolitics. Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Elizabeth is a contract writer at The Western Journal. Her articles have appeared on many conservative websites including RedState, Newsmax, The Federalist,, HotAir, MSN and RealClearPolitics.

Please follow Elizabeth on Twitter.