Covid-19 may have originated in an American lab as a result of an accidental leak. That's the unverified claim of Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's State Duma and a leading member of the ruling United Russia party.
Speaking to fellow lawmakers on Tuesday, Volodin suggested, without providing any scientific evidence to back up his claim, that Covid-19 leaked from "an American laboratory" in Wuhan, China.
"Based on the silence of America's satellite states, and the way the US itself is silent, one conclusion can be drawn: quite obviously, this is due to the fact that they had some kind of leak in those laboratories," Volodin said.Also on rt.com Insulting Putin should be punishable with prison term, senior Russian lawmaker says, after outrage over Biden’s ‘killer’ comments
Volodin went on to call for the US to stop the research he says caused Covid-19, and suggested that Washington begins to work out how to "compensate all the countries that suffered from it." If these studies are not stopped, the world will be "held hostage to more and more situations," he said.
"Clearly, it was found in Wuhan. But again, whose lab is it in Wuhan? An American lab. They funded it," Volodin claimed, again offering no evidence for his assertion.
While many have speculated that Covid-19 had inadvertently escaped from a lab in China, this claim has not been proven. In February, an investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) discovered that it is "extremely unlikely" that the virus was leaked by a lab in the city of Wuhan, with experts believing that it formed in animals before spreading to humans.
The WHO investigation has come under some scrutiny, however, with some worrying that China hasn't told the entire story to the UN public health agency.
For those who believe the virus was created artificially, Wuhan is the main focus. The first recorded cases of Covid-19 were discovered in the city in December 2019. Its Institute of Virology, a world-class laboratory, has come under scrutiny.
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