U.S. diplomats two years before the pandemic knew about problems in Wuhan’s laboratory

Two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. embassy in China warned of security problems in a laboratory in Wuhan. This was reported by The Washington Post on April 14.

The embassy staff visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology several times. One of the visits took place in January 2019.

“What American diplomats learned during their visits, they were so concerned that they sent two diplomatic messages to Washington,” writes the publication. According to the diplomats, there was a shortage of well-trained specialists in the institute’s laboratory studying the coronaviruses of bats. The existing staff could not work in conditions of such a high degree of contamination, diplomats wrote.

In the dispatch, they called for more attention to the laboratory and increased support from Washington.

One of the documents was seen by The Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin. The document said that if a person is infected with coronavirus, there is a threat of a new pandemic.

“The dispatch said there have long been concerns about a possible public health threat that could arise from this laboratory’s research if it was not properly conducted and protected,” said Xiao Qiang, a researcher at the University of California Information School at Berkeley.

Cases dating back to 2018 have been circulating again in the U.S. administration in the past two months. There is a discussion about whether the lab could be the source of a pandemic.