As the worldwide discourse surrounding the origin of the COVID-19 virus continues, a notable Chinese scientist has brought fresh insight into the conversation. Against the current mainstream views, he suggests that the laboratory leak theory should not be entirely dismissed. This unexpected stance has added a new layer of complexity to the existing scientific and geopolitical debates about the birth of the pandemic-causing virus.

Professor George F. Gao

The former chief of China’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Professor George Gao, expressed this standpoint during his appearance on the BBC Radio 4 podcast, “Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origin.” Prof. Gao, who has transitioned to the role of Vice-President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, has been instrumental in China’s response to the pandemic and the tracing of the virus’s roots. Emphasizing the scientific principle of open-mindedness, he states, “You can always suspect anything. That’s science. Don’t rule out anything.”

Investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology

China has consistently negated the idea that the virus could have been born in a lab in Wuhan. However, Prof. Gao’s perspective brings a nuanced view to the table. In the interview, he disclosed that a formal probe into the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), renowned for its research on coronaviruses, had taken place. He wasn’t privy to the results but heard that the lab had passed with flying colors. “I think their conclusion is that they are following all the protocols. They haven’t found [any] wrongdoing,” he added.