In October 2019, the World Military Games were held in Wuhan, China. Reports emerged of athletes becoming sick with a respiratory virus and symptoms that are now well recognized as COVID-19.1 It would be months before the U.S. took action, but evidence strongly suggests that U.S. intelligence had knowledge of a problem occurring in Wuhan in November 2019.
If they had reacted quickly, said David Asher, former COVID-19 investigator for the U.S. State Department, “The whole world would have been different. It would have been like stopping 9/11 before it happened.”2
He was speaking to Australian journalist and “Sky News” host Sharri Markson, whose explosive documentary, “What Really Happened in Wuhan?” features multiple experts who believe beyond any reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.3
The illness circulating at the World Military Games, among athletes who later returned home to more than 100 different countries, is just one piece of the evidence that, cumulatively, may solve the mystery of COVID-19’s origins.
First Cluster October 2019: Three WIV Scientists Became Ill
A series of events occurred in late 2019 that point to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as the epicenter of the virus. According to Markson, three people working at WIV became sick with COVID-like symptoms in October 2019. This is believed to be the first cluster of cases. Markson also spoke with former President Donald Trump, who stated there were reports that body bags were seen outside of WIV.4
Mike Pompeo, former secretary of state, told Markson that he’s seen data suggesting SARS-CoV-2 may have leaked from the lab in late summer — July or August — 2019,5 while other information suggests the leak may have occurred in September. WIV is well known for its controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research on bat coronaviruses.
Shi Zhengli, Ph.D., the director of WIV’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, also known as “bat woman,” has been studying bat-borne viruses since 2004, including SARS-like coronaviruses.
According to the World Society for Virology, “One of her great contributions is to uncover genetically diverse SARS-like coronaviruses in bats with her international collaborators and provide unequivocal evidence that bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-CoV.”6
Part of WIV’s GOF research involved using humanized mice for experiments to determine which coronaviruses could infect humans, as well as research to make viruses that weren’t able to infect humans do just that.7
According to Markson, it’s stated that over more than a decade, Zhengli’s research team collected thousands of bat samples in China and Africa, “searching for the origins of SARS, as well as isolating and characterizing many new viruses.”8 But WIV’s online virus databases disappeared from the internet beginning September 12, 2019 — 22,000 coronavirus samples, gone.9
That same day, WIV heightened its security and issued a tender to replace its air conditioning system. A month later, a communications blackout occurred, during which there was no cellphone or signal activity for about two weeks. It’s a circumstance that’s difficult to explain — unless the Chinese government was trying to deal with a disaster before it became public.10 Also difficult to explain is this: WIV bought a coronavirus PCR testing machine November 6, 2019.11
Increasing Evidence of COVID Origins Coverup
Markson spoke with Chinese defector Wei Jingsheng, who spent 18 years in Chinese prison for standing up to Beijing and then defected to the U.S. He maintained his contacts, however, and said he knew the Chinese government was doing experiments with biological weapons and thought they might use the World Military Games as an opportunity to spread the virus, since many foreigners would show up there.
Jingsheng passed on this information to U.S. intelligence as early as October 2019. Asher, a veteran weapons investigator who led a U.S. taskforce into the origins of COVID-19, uncovered information that Washington sat on classified intelligence information from November 2019. He learned of the information in November 2020 — a year later.
Meanwhile, many of the people who were most involved in the initial days, either having been infected or reporting on the scene, have disappeared. In early 2020, a journalist in China was sending out reports from hospitals on a daily basis; he heard the government was covering up illnesses, so he started posting videos. Then he disappeared.
There’s also Huang Yan Ling, a researcher at WIV who worked closely with Zhengli. Many believe Ling is patient zero for the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s now missing. Her profile and biography are missing from WIV’s website, but, after rumors surfaced that she was presumed dead, the Chinese government posted a notice on WIV’s site saying she’s alive and well.12
No proof was offered, however, and if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wanted to stop the rumors, the first thing they would have done was have her schedule a public appearance.
Speaking with Markson, Miles Yu, former principal China policy adviser to the U.S. State department, said it would have been a triumphant thing for the Chinese government to let Ling speak, but she never did. She disappeared.
“Anyone the government doesn’t like, they disappear,” Yu said, adding that the CCP is a regime not only capable of doing these things, but they do them with great pride.13 John Ratcliffe, former director of U.S. national intelligence, also spoke with Markson, stating:14
“If there was really no blame here, if this were really some naturally occurring virus because someone ate a bat from a wet market, China wouldn’t have done the things that they did. The Chinese Communist Party would not have shut down Wuhan. They would not have silenced doctors and scientists and journalists and disappeared some of them.”
Proof of Live Bats at WIV
World Health Organization investigators, including Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance president, claimed the suggestion of live bats at the WIV in China was a conspiracy theory.15 The dismissal was part of the rationale used to bolster the idea that SARS-CoV-2 is a natural virus that jumped from animals to humans, possibly due to a wet market in Wuhan, China.
Anyone who suggested otherwise — including that the virus may actually be a manmade product that escaped from a lab — was censored, discredited and called a conspiracy theorist. Markson revealed another bombshell, however — proof via video footage taken inside the facility that WIV kept live bats in cages.16
Meanwhile, Daszak has close ties to WIV through EcoHealth Alliance, which funded GOF research at WIV17 and Zhengli, which is why his participation in the WHO investigation into COVID-19’s origins was highly conflicted from the start. Further, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, gave funding to the EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn funneled it to WIV.18
While investigating her book, “What Really Happened in Wuhan?” Markson discovered that Daszak was invited to brief the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence February 3, 2020, during the early days of the pandemic. Ironically, misinformation was a key topic at the meeting, Markson said.
Fauci Lied About Funding Wuhan Coronavirus Research
In an April 17, 2020, White House press briefing, Fauci said the science was “totally consistent with a jump from an animal to a human.”19 Two days after this press briefing, Daszak wrote to Fauci thanking him for his help in deflecting the lab origin theory.20 Not long after, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement April 30, 2020, saying that “SARS-CoV-2 was of natural origin.”21
Many aren’t aware that Fauci has long supported controversial GOF research, which he spoke openly about at a hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Senate, held April 26, 2012. Fauci spoke favorably of dual use research of concern, or DURC, stating, “the risk-benefit ratio of such research clearly tips towards benefiting society.”22
According to Markson, Fauci was “up to his neck” funding coronavirus research at WIV, with 60 such projects funded. “Then he wrote a paper where he said gain-of-function research was worth the risk of a pandemic, and that he had even funded coronavirus research in conjunction with the Chinese military,” she said.23
Daszak, meanwhile, was also the mastermind behind the publication of a scientific statement published in The Lancet in March 202024 condemning such inquiries as “conspiracy theory,”25 which was then relied on by the media to “debunk” evidence showing the pandemic virus most likely originated from a laboratory.
Daszak then ended up on both the WHO investigation into COVID-19s origins and The Lancet’s COVID-19 commission,26 despite the glaring conflicts of interest.
Increasing questions are also being asked about what type of research was being conducted at WIV, which relied on French experts to build the laboratory, which was supposed to be a center of international collaboration. However, France has no role in running the facility27 and, according to Markson, “the French were immediately kicked out” of the lab after it was built, raising alarm bells with French intelligence.28
It’s believed the French were pushed out because of the Chinese military’s interest in the work being done at WIV, which suggests that they were working on biological warfare or biological warfare defense.29 According to Asher, “My concern was that the Chinese were doing research in, as we learned later, quite uncontrolled circumstances that was most definitely related to biological warfare ambitions in the future.”30
SARS-CoV-2 Is Modified to Infect Humans
Markson also spoke with Nikolai Petrovsky, professor of endocrinology at Flinders University College of Medicine in Adelaide, Australia, is among those who has stated SARS-CoV-2 appears to be optimally designed to infect humans.31
His team sought to identify a way by which animals might have co-mingled to give rise to SARS-CoV-2, but concluded that it could not be a naturally occurring virus. Petrovsky has previously stated it appears far more likely that the virus was created in a laboratory.32
According to Petrovsky, SARS-CoV-2 is better adapted to infect humans than any animal, including bats, but his paper was rejected over and over again, without even being looked at. “Science is not about politics. It’s not about only finding nice things,” he told Markson. “It’s about finding the truth. What are the facts?”33
Taken together, the facts are becoming overwhelming and, Pompeo said, “cumulative evidence points singularly to WIV.”34 Markson also brought up the fact that the World Health Organization is beholden to China.
COVID-19 Origin Investigation Conflicted
In February 2021, WHO cleared WIV and two other biosafety level 4 laboratories in Wuhan, China, of wrongdoing, saying these labs had nothing to do with the COVID-19 outbreak.35
Only after backlash, including an open letter signed by 26 scientists demanding a full and unrestricted forensic investigation into the pandemic’s origins,36 did WHO enter damage control mode, with director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and 13 other world leaders joining the U.S. government in expressing “frustration with the level of access China granted an international mission to Wuhan.”37
WHO’s allegiance to China was secured years earlier, when China secured WHO votes to ensure its candidates would become director-general. A Sunday Times investigation also revealed that WHO’s independence was severely compromised and its close ties to China allowed COVID-19 to spread in the early days of the pandemic while obfuscating the investigation into its origins.38
Academics and public health officials have staunchly defended the natural-origin theory for SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, until finally, in May 2021, the U.S. government ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to look into COVID-19’s origins and, after 90 days, produce a preliminary report.
The classified report was delivered in August, but its results were reportedly inconclusive, with intelligence agencies unable to pinpoint whether COVID-19 has a natural or laboratory origin.39 But as Ratcliffe told Markson, there’s still more intelligence suggesting SARS-CoV-2 came from WIV that has yet to be declassified:40
“And so I think the time has come for the Biden administration to declassify additional information. Again, more evidence — if you need it — that the Chinese Communist Party officials acted badly, bullied international officials, covered up intelligence and reporting on this.
There is more intelligence out there and I’d like to see it declassified because it will create additional pressure not just on Chinese Communist Party officials but others that still continue to deny that China is the bad actor here.”
Investigation is also needed as to why intelligence agencies with access to this information didn’t act on it, which could have led to an entirely different outcome during the pandemic.