Chen Shih-chung, the head of Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed that the female researcher had tested positive for COVID-19 after being “exposed to the pathogen” during research that was conducted in mid-November at the Academia Sinica's Genomics Research Center in Taipei.
Notably, Taiwan hasn't experienced any recent cases of COVID-19, a fact noted by Chen, who said, “We believe the possibility of infection from the workplace is higher because we have zero confirmed infections in the community.”
Taiwan Leak Occurred Despite Use of High Security LabTaiwan’s lab leak of COVID-19 took place at a BSL-3 lab, which mandates the use of personal protective equipment, biosafety cabinets, sustained directional airflow without recirculation, as well as self-closing and interlocked doors. By contrast, the gain-of-function experiments being conducted on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were done at much less secure BSL-2 labs.
“It shouldn’t have happened," Lipkin stated. "People should not be looking at bat viruses in BSL-2 labs.”
Taiwan Leak Response in Stark Contrast to CCP’s Wuhan ResponseAdditionally, the open and immediate manner in which the Taiwanese government handled its lab leak incident contrasts sharply with China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials refused to acknowledge the outbreak until Taiwan notified international authorities on Dec. 31, 2019. But despite the CCP’s refusal to acknowledge an outbreak, there were earlier warnings from those stationed in Wuhan.
The CCP’s coverup and the capitulation by scientists allowed the virus to continue to spread at a critical time. It also gave the CCP additional time to obfuscate the virus’s origins and create a natural origin narrative centered around the Huanan Seafood Market.
Embarek also acknowledged that a deal had been struck between the WHO’s investigative team and their Chinese counterparts. The lab leak theory could be mentioned in the WHO’s final report, but only on the condition the report didn’t recommend any specific studies to further that hypothesis.
Lab Leaks CommonThe incident in Taiwan has renewed the debate over the origin of the pandemic. According to Yanzhong Huang, a Chinese public health expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, “if the lab worker is confirmed to have been infected at her workplace, then this will add credibility to the lab leak theory.”
Although this case is raising new questions about the likelihood of a lab as the origin of the pandemic, lab leaks aren't as rare as the media would have the public believe.
Notably, his 2015 warning was in response to the experiments carried out by Baric and Shi Zhengli.
Incidents of lab leaks in just the past 10 years have involved notably dangerous pathogens, including Dengue, Anthrax, H5N1, smallpox, Ebola and Zika.
Taiwan’s Leak Refocuses Debate on COVID-19 OriginThe Lanzhou outbreak, which happened at almost exactly the same time as the Wuhan outbreak, should have served as an immediate red flag for anyone looking into the origins of COVID-19. But the Lanzhou outbreak has been largely ignored by the media. The incident underscored not only that laboratory accidents happen with disturbing regularity but also that the CCP has a history of covering them up.
The transparency and responsiveness with which Taiwan handled its recent biosafety lapse contrasts sharply with China’s ongoing efforts to impede any investigation into the origin of the pandemic. China’s efforts to thwart any true investigation of the virus’s origin also raise questions as to why the United States was providing technology and funding for gain-of-function experiments to a communist regime that's known for its lack of transparency.
Dearlove echoed the concerns of many when he ominously noted that ”what concerns me and what worries me is the extent to which the West went along with this.”