‘Tit for tat’: why the hunt for Covid’s origins still mired in politics and controversy | Coronavirus – Community News
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‘Tit for tat’: why the hunt for Covid’s origins still mired in politics and controversy | Coronavirus

RObert Garry, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane’s School of Medicine in Louisiana, received a call from his college management to tell him that agents from the FBI and CIA had requested an interview about his investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Garry agreed, and on July 30, three officers flew to Louisiana to meet with him in person.

The meeting, held in a university conference room, began at 9:00 am and ended at approximately 5:00 pm. “I presented my evidence to the agents, who were themselves well-trained scientists. They asked the right questions,” Garry told The Guardian.

“I told them there is no way this virus was a manufactured weapon. There is also no evidence to suggest it was a lab leak. But I am also aware that there are people who will always disagree.”

Their conversation came two months after Joe Biden ordered US intelligence to investigate how the pandemic began.

Under normal circumstances, investigating an emerging infectious disease outbreak is a purely scientific study, as was the case with Sars in 2003 and Mers a decade later. But the search for the origins of the Covid pandemic has come amid a global controversy that has mixed public health, domestic politics and international diplomacy.

It also coincided with the West’s growing distrust of the Chinese government and Beijing’s aggressive public diplomacy as a “wolf warrior,” which has led many Western capitals to recalibrate their relationship with China.

“It takes two to tango,” said Professor Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow in global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank in New York. “At first, Beijing seemed to agree to be the country of origin of the outbreak,” he said.

Chinese officials seemed to acknowledge that the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was where Sars-CoV-2 first emerged. “What happened next was all kinds of wild theories started popping up from both the US and China,” Huang said.