Of the 27 scientists who wrote a letter in The Lancet medical journal dismissing the possibility that Covid-19 originated from a Wuhan lab, 26 have links to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or its benefactors, a new investigation has revealed.
On March 7 last year, the influential journal published the letter in which the 27 scientists said they ‘strongly condemned conspiracy theories’ surrounding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted all corners of the world.
All debate into whether Covid-19 had man-made origins or leaked from the lab in Wuhan – the Chinese city that was ground-zero for the virus – was effectively shut down by the letter.
However, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph newspaper into the signatories has found that 26 of the 27 had some link to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the leak was suspected – calling into question their impartiality.
Signatories include Dr Peter Daszak, the British president of EcoHealth Alliance, which funnelled money into controversial research at a Wuhan Institute of Virology, and UK Government scientific adviser Sir Jeremy Farrar.
Only one – Dr Ronald Corley, a microbiology expert from Boston University – has been found to have no links back to funders or researchers at the Wuhan institute.
Below, the MailOnline looks at those signatories named by The Telegraph’s investigation – and other key figures and organisations – to have links with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The orchestrator of the letter, British zoologist Peter Daszak, was already found to have a conflict of interest through him being president of the US-based EcoHealth Alliance, which has funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Despite declaring no conflicts of interest at the time the letter was penned, The Lancet was forced to publish an addendum to the letter acknowledging Daszak’s connection to EcoHealth Alliance.