Days after the US and the United Kingdom ordered new inquiries into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, the leaders at the Group of Seven are prepared to do the same.
An exclusive report by the Guardian said the G-7 leaders are planning to will call for a transparent investigation by the World Health Organization into the origins of the coronavirus. The WHO had made its own investigation earlier, and had absolved China of anything amiss with regard to the coronavirus origin.
Throughout the pandemic, the scientific community had largely agreed that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans, though a minority always held the view that pathogen might have escaped from a laboratory, most probably the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan.
Former US president Donald Trump had held the view and made angry comments against China but his voice was drowned in the cacophony of political opposition to him in the heat of an intensely fought election.
The view gained prominence once again when President Joe Biden ordered the intelligence agencies to probe this angle again.
Lab Leak Theory
The Guardian reported, citing Bloomberg News, that a draft communique has been already prepared by the G7 leaders. The communique also calls for delivering 1 billion extra doses of the Covid-19 vaccine over the next year to disadvantaged countries.
The lab leak theory got a fillip this week when an article published in The Wall Street Journal argued that the virus causing COVID-19 is a man-made monster optimized in a lab for catastrophic effect.
Dr. Steven Quay and Richard Muller analyzed the 'double CGG sequence' that was found in the novel coronavirus. This sequence has never been found naturally among the entire group of coronaviruses, they observed.
But in a damning revelation, they found that this sequence was found in CoV-2, which spreads Covid-19.
They said that this undercuts the arguments of the proponents of zoonotic origin of the virus. China has long been championing this theory, while the World Health Organization made a similar finding, underscoring the Chinese side of the story.
"Proponents of zoonotic origin must explain why the novel coronavirus, when it mutated or recombined, happened to pick its least favorite combination, the double CGG," they wrote. "Why did it replicate the choice the lab's gain-of-function researchers would have made," the scientists ask.