The covid-19 leaked theory from Wuhan lab in September 2019 - which is when an army biological weapons expert was brought in, security and ventilation were beefed up, and hospital visits spiked, a Republicans report has found.
The evidence is being prepared by congressional Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee that seeks to prove that the coronavirus originally escaped from the Chinese labs.
Citing open-source data, the report found that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan lab before September 12, 2019.
That day, Wuhan University called for laboratory inspections, and hours later the lab's viral sequence database was taken off the web.
According to the report, Dr. Shi Zhen-Li, a senior scientist at the Wuhan institute was questioned in an email why the database was removed from the internet.
Zen-Li, had in the past 'given several conflicting answers' regarding the disappearance of the database, the report noted, and replied that she would not answer further questions.
'No trust, no conversation,' she wrote.
Shortly after the removal of the database, the lab requested bids for additional security at the lab, such as 'gatekeepers, guards, video surveillance, security patrols, and people to handle the ‘registration and reception of foreign personnel,' according to house Republicans' report.
Other pieces of evidence compiled include that Major General Chen Wei, a biology and chemical weapons defense expert, had taken control of one of the institute's labs in late 2019.
Further proof of the earlier timeline, the committee Republicans say, includes international press reports that the World Military Games, hosted in Wuhan in October, 2019, were held without fans.
Later, athletes who attended the games, the report says, developed Covid-like symptoms in November and December, 2019.
The report also says that Yu Chuanhua, the Vice President of the Hubei Health Statistics and Information Society had tried to retract statements he made in a Feb. 27 interview with Health Times in which he spoke of a patient who had become sick with Covid-19 in September, 2019, as well as two other cases in November.
The report says the attempt was likely in response to a Chinese gag order as news of the coronavirus spread.
The house Republicans on the committee also seek to argue that the virus was possibly genetically modified, and cite an interview with Dr. Ralph Baric, who had collaborated with the Wuhan lab, in which he said it was possible to engineer a virus, 'without leaving a trace.'
The report also found the facility had sought to improve its waste management and ventilation systems.
The facilities seeking the renovations were part of the Wuhan National Biosafety Lab, and had been operational for less than two years.
'Such a significant renovation so soon after the facility began operation appears unusual,' Republican staff on committee wrote in their report.
The renovations, they wrote, 'all raise questions about how well these systems were functioning in the months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.'
The information regarding the lab's procurement posting for the renovations will be included as an addendum by staff for Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the Committee.
The report and the addendum was viewed by Fox News.
Republicans on the committee will submit the full report in September.
It's not clear why the lab requested the bids or if the work was actually carried out, but the information is intended to add more to evidence Republicans on the committee are compiling to suggest that the coronavirus accidentally leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The report will come as an intelligence review ordered by the Biden administration into the origins of the virus is set to release its findings.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.