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Indian Hindu nationalist group backs COVID lab-leak theory, questions US role in pandemic


Officially, India has urged cooperation from “all parties” in the follow-up investigation into the origins of the virus, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs last month. Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s federal health minister, outgoing head of the WHO executive board, has called for an investigation into the “zoonotic sources” of COVID.

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of India’s influential nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on Wednesday supported the growing global noise for an investigation into the alleged laboratory origin of COVID-19.

“There is a lot of published data to establish that the genetic structure of COVID-19 has the telltale signature of a chimeric virus engineered in the laboratory,” co-convener SJM. Dr. Ashwani Mahajan said.

In his statement, Mahajan also flagged the role of some “American institutions” in funding research projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has become the focus of global attention over its alleged role in escaping SARS-CoV2 during a laboratory accident. has gone.

The SJM leader cast significant doubts on the credibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) in its impartial investigation of the COVID-19 outbreak, as it accused the Geneva-based global institution of being in an “unholy alliance” with China.

Mahajan recalled the WHO’s first-stage investigation into the origins of COVID-19, saying that the investigation more or less supported the theory that the virus was transferred from an infected animal to a human.

“However, the report also did not rule out the origin of Wuhan’s laboratory. Since the World Health Organization is under heavy pressure from China, it has not been able to clearly link the origin of the virus to the Wuhan laboratory. But this apprehension cannot be completely ruled out. Therefore, the organization tried to satisfy the US by terming the report as inconclusive,” the SJM said.

The Indian activist said the role of Peter Daszak, one of the WHO investigators sent to China to investigate the origins of the virus, had played a “suspicious” role in the investigation process.

“This gentleman has been an important member of the commission sent by the World Health Organization to Wuhan. This is the same person who published a paper in the prestigious research journal called Lancet, which said that the laboratory has no role in the spread of the virus,” Mahajan said.

Mahajan said the entire investigation process could have been compromised only because Daszak was allegedly involved in arranging funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the New York-based Eco Health Alliance.

This statement by the influential Indian organization comes against the backdrop of a raging international controversy over the leaked email of eminent US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

© Reuters / Greg Nashow

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hearing to discuss the ongoing federal response to COVID-19, at the US Capitol in Washington DC. , America, May 11, 2021

In one of the most recent emails that surfaced last year, Dr. Fauci reportedly backed up the claim that SARS-CoV2 did not originate in the Wuhan lab. The email came nearly a week after Biden gave US investigators a 90-day timeline to come up with a detailed report on the origins of the virus.

“… while the IC (intelligence community) has two elements leaning toward the former scenario (animal-to-human transmission) and one leaning more toward the latter (the laboratory accident theory) – each with low or moderate confidence – most elements do not believe there is enough information to assess the likelihood of one being more likely than the other,” Biden said in a statement.

The US president further said that Washington would work with “like-minded partners” around the world in the coming days to pressure China to participate in an “evidence-based” and “transparent” investigation into the origins of the virus. .

China, meanwhile, has outright denied that the virus originated in the country, arguing instead that the COVID pandemic was possibly the result of multiple “outbreaks” in various places around the world, including the US.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also dismissed allegations that China hid the extent of the outbreak, saying Beijing was “race against time” to report the first case to the world.

“I would like to point out that the virus and the COVID-19 pandemic are being observed in various places around the world in the second half of 2019, and that the international community is highly concerned about the questions surrounding the biological laboratory. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on June 4, the real intention of the US to establish more than 200 foreign bio-laboratories in Fort Detrick.

China has also called on the US to invite WHO experts to the Fort Detrick facility to help with “origin-tracing” of the virus.


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