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New WHO Chief Scientist Made Crucial Change to Paper Claiming COVID-19 Didn’t Come From Lab


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The World Health Organization’s new chief scientist made a crucial change to an influential 2020 paper that claimed it was “improbable” that COVID-19 came from a laboratory, a newly disclosed email shows.

Jeremy Farrar, the chief scientist, was credited in one message with helping guide the paper about the origin of COVID-19, according to an email released by the U.S. House select subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic on March 5.

“Thanks for shepherding this paper. Rumors of bioweaponeering are now circulating in China,” Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University professor, wrote to Farrar in the message.

“Yes I know and in US – why so keen to get out ASAP. I will push nature,” Farrar responded.

In the early 2020 paper, Lipkin and four co-authors claimed that “it is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus.”

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