The virus that causes COVID-19 probably did not originate in nature, according to a former State Department contractor.
“It came out of nowhere, and it was optimized for transmission between humans in a way that no bat-borne coronavirus ever had been. So what’s up? A pangolin gets mated with a bat gets mated with a furin cleavage site of a human being? How does that happen? It’s not probable,” David Asher, who worked for the department during the Trump administration, said on Fox News’s “The Story.”
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes COVID-19.
The first cases of the illness cropped up in China in late 2019.
The origins of the virus are not known.
The State Department had launched an investigation into the origins under former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he confirmed this week. Reports indicated the probe was shut down by the department in recent weeks. The agency disputed the reports.
“There has been incorrect reporting that the Biden-Harris Administration shut down an investigation by the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control and Verification and Compliance (AVC) into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ned Price, a spokesperson for the agency, told The Epoch Times in an email.
“In February and March of 2021, the team’s findings were briefed to AVC and Policy Planning policy staff in the new administration. With the report delivered, the work was ended. The contract continues, focused on other, arms control related work related to AVC’s portfolio. All relevant parts of the Department continue to work with the interagency on this matter. The world continues to have serious questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins within the Peoples Republic of China.”
Asher said he led the probe into the virus origins and that the team found scant evidence that the virus came from an animal.
Statistically, Asher said, the chances the virus originated in nature was pegged by biostatisticians as 1 in 13 million to 1 in 13 billion.
Asher pointed to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a top-level laboratory in the Chinese city where the first COVID-19 cases were seen.
“We had very definitive information, only a bit of which we put out publicly, that showed they were engaged in this classified, secret effort to develop these super viruses and that it appeared it had spilled out of that laboratory,” he said on Fox. “That was the only plausible information that we were presented.”
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has also supported the lab leak theory, telling CNN in March, “I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human.”
“And at that moment in time, the virus that came to the human became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human to human transmission. Normally when a pathogen goes from a zoonotic to human, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in humans, human transmission. I just don’t think this makes biological sense,” he said.
A group of international researchers earlier in May pushed for a proper investigation into the origins of the CCP virus, after a World Health Organization-led probe ruled the possibility of laboratory origins unlikely.
U.S. intelligence agencies do not know where, when, or how the CCP virus was transmitted initially, Amanda Schoch, assistant director of national intelligence for strategic communications, said this week.
The intelligence community, which consists of over a dozen agencies, has coalesced around two likely scenarios, she added: a natural emergency from humans coming into contact with infected animals, or a lab accident.
President Joe Biden has said he supports a probe into the virus origins. He said recently he had ordered the intelligence community to report to him within 90 days about what they’ve found.
Biden told reporters on Thursday that he will release the report to the public “unless there’s something I am unaware of.”