New footage reportedly recorded inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology shows live bats in cages, despite a World Health Organization (WHO) investigator previously labelling such claims as “conspiracy theories”.
Sky News Australia has published footage it says is part of a Chinese Academy of Sciences video produced in 2017 to mark the launch of a new biosafety laboratory in Wuhan.
Titled “The construction and research team of Wuhan P4 laboratory of Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences”, the video shows bats being held in cages and one being fed worms by a researcher.
British zoologist Peter Daszak, who was part of the WHO team investigating the origins of Covid-19, had last year dismissed fears that bats were being tested in the Wuhan lab, calling such claims a “widely circulated conspiracy theory”.
“This is a widely circulated conspiracy theory. This piece describes work I’m the lead on and labs I’ve collaborated with for 15 years. They DO NOT have live or dead bats in them. There is no evidence anywhere that this happened. It’s an error I hope will be corrected,” he said on Twitter last December.
“No BATS were sent to Wuhan lab for genetic analysis of viruses collected in the field. That’s now how this science works. We collect bat samples, send them to the lab. We RELEASE bats where we catch them!”
Daszak, who has since deleted the tweets, admitted this month that he had not asked Wuhan Institute of Virology if they kept bats, and conceded there was a possibility.
It has also emerged that Daszak is the director of a conservation charity which financially supported the work done by the Wuhan Institute’s chief researcher Dr. Shi Zhengli.
BREAKING: New footage uncovered of live bats within Wuhan lab, after denials https://t.co/oXWrUqqM4E
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 13, 2021
The recently-released WHO report into the origin of Covid-19 did not make any mention of bats being kept in the laboratory, only briefly stating that the “animal room in the P4 facility can handle a variety of species, including primate work with SARS-CoV-2.”
The latest video was discovered by a team of researchers calling themselves “DRASTIC”, with members insisting on anonymity amid fears for their safety.
Another video issued by the group shows Wuhan lab director Yuan Zhiming in a control room where he says accidents could be managed.
The WHO has consistently pointed to bats in the wet markets of Wuhan as causing the emergence of Covid-19, but this footage and other growing evidence for the “lab leak” theory now seems to have thrown such claims into disarray.
EXCLUSIVE: The Wuhan Institute of Virology kept live bats in cages, new footage from inside the facility has revealed.
This disproves denials from World Health Organisation investigators like Peter Daszak who claimed the suggestion was a “conspiracy”.https://t.co/XGokKUmWzS
— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) June 13, 2021