The British medical journal The Lancet has posted an update on a letter published in 2020 by 27 scientists that claimed the coronavirus jumped naturally from animals to humans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had called the letter a political document "trying to destroy the credibility" of then-President Donald Trump and others who argued the pandemic-causing disease had leaked from a Chinese lab.
The February 2020 letter dismissed "conspiracy theories" that the virus had leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
And Vanity Fair reported that The Lancet statement was organized by Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance.
The alliance was the same nonprofit that had sent grant money it got from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the Wuhan lab.
New York City microbiologist Peter Palese, who signed the letter, told The Daily Mail that he was no longer convinced that the virus started with animals, as "a lot of disturbing information has surfaced."
The Lancet tweeted on Monday: "In the letter, ‘Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combating COVID-19,’ published in February, 2020, the authors declared no competing interests. Some readers have questioned the validity of this disclosure.
"We invited the 27 authors of the letter to re-evaluate their competing interests. Peter Daszak has expanded on his disclosure statement for this letter and two other pieces relating to COVID-19 that he co-authored or contributed to in The Lancet."
"(Peter Daszak) remuneration is paid solely in the form of a salary from EcoHealth Alliance, a 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization," Daszak wrote. "EcoHealth Alliance’s mission is to develop science-based solutions to prevent pandemics and promote conservation. Funding for their work comes from a range of U.S. Government funding agencies and non-governmental sources.
The Epoch Times reported that Daszak as recently as December 2020 said that the claim that bats were kept at the facility was a "widely circulated conspiracy" and that he hopes it’s an "error" in reporting that will be "corrected.
Meanwhile, Sen. Graham said that had it been shown that Trump was correct about the lab leak theory, "it would have changed the outcome of the 2020 election."
"If we could have proven that early on in 2020 it was a lab leak coming from China, not occurring naturally, the public would want revenge against China, and who would they turn to, (Joe) Biden or Trump?" Graham said.
He also said he thinks the letter was orchestrated by persons who were "worried about their own a** being in the sling because of their relationship with China, and I think there was a political motivation here to destroy Trump’s credibility."
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.