Dr. Robert Kadlec, who served as an official in the biodefense and epidemic response departments during the pandemic, said Chinese military scientist Zhou Yusen was conducting research on live animals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2019, and filed a patent for a COVID vaccine in February 2020 — barely one month after China put Wuhan into a lockdown due to the first outbreak.
Three months later, Dr. Yusen died when he allegedly fell from the roof of the Wuhan Institute.
“It looked like he was censored as a consequence of whatever happened,” Kadlec told Australia’s Sky News.
“Our evidence would suggest that something happened while he was doing his work, which we believe was when the virus first emerged,” he said.
“And whether he was held accountable through some formal proceeding or not, he was certainly dead by July .”
When asked whether he thought it was possible Yusen was killed for starting the pandemic, Kadlec replied, “It’s certainly possible, we considered that as a plausible possibility, however, we had no evidence to make that assessment.”
Yusen’s quick turnaround of a COVID vaccine sparked concerns the Wuhan Institute was secretly working on a vaccine months before Beijing admitted to the outbreak of the novel virus.
US vaccine developers have told government investigators it would have taken at least three months to generate the data cited in Yusen’s patent, suggesting he was working on it at least two months before Chinese officials announced the new virus.
That research may have led to an accidental lab leak, House Republicans concluded in an April report.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, repeatedly denied the claim.
The idea, Kadlec said, was to encourage cooperation from the Chinese government.
“Part of the reason I’m still committed to trying to … bring the subject up is at least to say it’s important to know now what happened,” he said, adding that denying the validity of the lab leak theory could cast doubt on the possibility of another pathogen escaping from a biolab.
Kadlec said he has decided to speak out now because he feels “like it is an obligation that I have to say what happened, and I think to factually portray this — not to get sympathy or forgiveness — but more to say factually, here’s what happened. This is what we tried to do.
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