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22 Apr, 2020 16:14

Kremlin says ‘not enough info’ to support claim Covid-19 began in a lab

Kremlin says ‘not enough info’ to support claim Covid-19 began in a lab

Speculations that the coronavirus leaked from a lab are as groundless as those saying it definitely couldn’t have, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, adding that it’s “unacceptable” to accuse anyone without proof.

Claims have been circulating on social media around the exact origins of Covid-19, which is believed to have started in the Chinese province of Wuhan at the end of 2019. They range from the belief that the virus may have been artificially made by scientists in a Chinese laboratory to the theory that it was brought into Wuhan by the US army – or even linked to the introduction of 5G.

Peskov told reporters that “in the situation where there is not enough information that has been supported and checked by science [...] we think it is unacceptable […] to groundlessly accuse anyone.”

For every expert claiming or hinting at an artificial origin of the virus, there are two experts ruling out such an origin. But both of those takes are absolutely evidence-free. We just do not know enough to make any conclusions.

The Kremlin’s statement follows claims made by French virologist Luc Montagnier, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for the discovery of HIV, who told viewers during a TV interview earlier this month that the wet-market origin story is “a beautiful legend.” He is of the view that Covid-19 was made in a lab and “is the work of molecular biologists.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected claims that the novel coronavirus has artificial origins and has stated that it originated in animals before spreading to humans. “All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus [from] a lab or somewhere else,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a news briefing in Geneva this week.

Also on rt.com Russian scientists invent a technology allowing to study viruses more efficiently

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, there are currently 2,580,729 confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, with a total death toll of 178,371.

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