China Is Hindering Probe Into Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert

jamie metzl

Getty Jamie Metzl is a futurist and expert on China.

A group of scientists and experts from around the world are calling on governments to launch an independent investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, saying that China has hindered researchers’ ability to know from where COVID-19 first spread. Writer Jamie Metzl told Joe Rogan on a recent podcast episode that the initial consensus that the virus did not come from a lab is now being called into question more loudly.

Metzl, speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on March 9, 2021, said he and others have questioned the popularized opinion that COVID-19 originated in bats and spread to other animals and then to humans, possibly through a wet market. He said there needs to be more attention to the theory that COVID-19 originated with a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Metzl, who was the lead drafter on the letter from scientists calling for a new investigation, said some leading scientists pushed the lab accident hypothesis into conspiracy theory territory early on.

“The evidence is actually really strong, it’s all circumstantial, but we don’t have any evidence of the other hypotheses, like this series of jumps from animals in the wild,” Metzl told Rogan. “We need to look really seriously at this. In my view, it’s the most likely hypothesis, worthy of a full investigation.”

Jamie Metzl Questions the Origins of Covid 19This clip is taken from the Joe Rogan Experience #1616 with Jamie Metzl.

Rogan said that early on in the pandemic, while President Donald Trump was still in the White House, it became “taboo” to talk about the lab leak theory, because of politics, and people are now more free to talk about it. Rogan said to Metzl, “It’s so crazy that something which is science, it’s a scientific discussion and inquiry, that it could be stunted by these political ideas when someone is so polarizing like Trump that people just want to reject very plausible and possible ideas just because of him.”

Metzl told Rogan, “It’s just crazy because it seems, this is a really, in my view, likely possibility. We should be investigating all hypotheses not  saying we can’t even look at something that could be the real story here.””

Metzl, who previously appeared on Rogan’s podcast in May 2019, is a technology and medical futurist and expert on geopolitics, whose most recent book is titled Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity. Metzl is also the founder and chair of OneShared.World and a senior fellow on the Atlantic Council. He served in the Clinton administration in the State Department and on the National Security Council and was an aide to then-Senator Joe Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Metzl is also an expert in China and Asia.

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Metzl Said China Has Carried Out a ‘Massive Coverup’

Questions about the origins of the coronavirus in ChinaAs the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, so did various theories about the origins of the virus. Author Jamie Metzl believes it could have been accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He joined CBSN to discuss his views and why China needs to be more forthcoming with global health officials2021-01-04T20:50:53Z

Metzl, who is an adviser to the World Health Organization on human genome editing and a supporter of the WHO, told Rogan, “It was politics that made it so that you could have this outbreak.” Metzl said to Rogan:

Wherever it started, whether it was a lab leak or something else, if you had had a fully functioning system, if it hadn’t been for Chinese politics and the natural instinct hadn’t been to coverup, to silence the whistleblowers, to lie essentially to the World Health Organization and the international community, it could well have been possible to suppress COVID in the first few weeks and we wouldn’t have had any of this. It was politics that made China, again whatever the origin, carry out this massive coverup over the course of the last year, where they destroyed samples, eliminated or removed databases, imprisoned Chinese journalists asking tough question and put a universal gag order on their scientists, making it impossible for them to speak about any of this.

Rogan said it’s “pretty incredible that that’s not well known.” Metzl responded, “We have a real problem here unless we can just be really honest about what’s the problem we are facing, how are we possibly going to address it?”

What Started Pushback Against Wuhan "Lab Leak" Theory?This clip is taken from the Joe Rogan Experience #1616 with Jamie Metzl.

Metzl said, “If the story in the beginning had been, ‘maybe this comes from a zoonotic jump, maybe it comes from a lab leak, we need to look at both options,’ I think that would have been a much healthier place, because there would have been more pressure on China.”

Metzl told Rogan he thinks lives could have saved if China had been more transparent. “The earlier you intervene, the greater the possibility to stop it. This is certainly a highly contagious virus, but in those early, critical days, China, they silenced whistleblowers, they started destroying materials, they didn’t share immediately the genomic sequence of the virus, really for the first month, China was absolutely atrocious,” Metzl said. “And there’s a percent, it’s not the full percentage, but every single person who dies from COVID, part of that is attributable to the failure of the Chinese government, particularly in the first month.”

The Letter From Metzl & Other Experts Calls for an ‘Unrestricted International Forensic Investigation’

Experts call for second COVID origin probe over fears first probe was compromised by ChinaGlobal academics have called for a second investigation into the origins of COVID-19 after expressing fears China wielded excessive influence over the first inquiry. In an open letter experts are demanding an "unrestricted international forensic investigation" into what caused the pandemic. The group has provided a list of requirements needed for a proper inquiry and…2021-03-06T19:18:39Z

Metzl said, “The letter made three key points. One is that this is a terrible pandemic we have to understand where it came from. Two, that this current investigation is not the kind of full investigation that is needed.  And three, here is what a full investigation looks like and we call on governments to do it.”

The letter, available on Metzl’s website, includes the signatures of two dozen scientists. In the letter, the scientists argue that the WHO team that led an investigation into the COVID-19 origins were not able to conduct an adequate investigation. The letter calls for an “unrestricted international forensic investigation.”

Metzl told Rogan he is hopeful there is growing support for an actual investigation. “Now I feel like there is an opening and I hope that we can continue. The goal in my mind isn’t to prove that it is a lab leak or it isn’t. But we at least need to have the most thorough, unrestricted, unpoliticized investigation into what happened with access to all the lab records, all the samples,” Metzl said. “There’s ton of scientists in China who were working on these issues. Very, very few of them have been interviewed. We don’t have access to them and frankly I think a lot of them are afraid if they speak up they’ll be imprisoned or worse.”

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