TEHRAN – Claiming that Coronavirus might have originated from a U.S. lab, a renowned economist and policy analyst urges the American government to be more transparent about the research it was sponsoring.
“The U.S. government was sponsoring a lot of dangerous genetic manipulation of SARS-like viruses and has not yet honestly revealed the nature of that work,” Jeffrey Sachs tells the Tehran Times.
“There are worrying signs that this research may have created SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease,” Sachs adds.
There is enough evidence “that made him reach this conclusion, which should be looked into,” the professor from Columbia University notes.
Sachs who also chairs the Covid-19 commission at The Lancet, a renowned medical journal, says that he was in the loop: It’s a blunder, in my view, of biotech, not an accident of a natural spillover.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: Is there scientifically proven evidence about the origin of Covid-19 or we should just rely on theories or hypotheses? Did it break out of natural reason like the MERS that emerged in Saudi Arabia?
A: There are two hypotheses: a natural spillover (as with MERS) or a laboratory creation. Both are possible. The U.S. government was sponsoring a lot of dangerous genetic manipulation of SARS-like viruses and has not yet honestly revealed the nature of that work. There are worrying signs that this research may have created SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease. We can suspect this because U.S. scientists declared the intention to manipulate viruses in a way that could have created the virus. We need the U.S. government to be more transparent about the research it was sponsoring.
“There are worrying signs that genetic manipulation of SARS-like viruses that may have created SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease.” Q: How do you see the media-political war over the origin of the pandemic? American officials and media blamed China for its outbreak.
A: Yes, the U.S. has tried to blame China without admitting its own possible role. Governments should cooperate with the WHO to find the truth.
Q: Though the U.S. is a scientifically and technologically advanced country the Covid-19 death rate is still high. How do you evaluate the performance of the Trump and Biden administrations to curb the pandemic?
A: The U.S. did a poor job, with more than 1 million dead. The public behaves badly, rejecting face masks for example. Trump was completely irresponsible. Biden did a little better in terms of science, but overall U.S. performance was poor.
Q: Do you think the globe can eradicate Covid-19 in near future? And is it possible for the world to face new pandemics with unnatural origins?
A: It is likely that Covid will be with us for a long time to come, perhaps with new serious waves. The pandemic is still not close to being ended.
A lot of dangerous biological manipulation of pathogens is still going on. This kind of laboratory research needs to be made public and properly regulated. Bioweapons research needs to stop. We need global cooperation for this to happen.
Q: Do you agree with conspiracy theories that claim that Covid resulted from search for a biological war?
A: I do not believe that Covid came from bio warfare research. More likely, it came from research to create drugs and vaccines. Either way, we need to know more. The U.S. NIH should make public the information about this kind of research.