Ex-MI6 chief on COVID-19 origin: Lab escapee virus tailored to be highly infectious

For the former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) was more likely to have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) lab as opposed to originating in nature.

Sir Richard Dearlove was chief of the United Kingdom's secret intelligence service called MI6 from 1999 to 2004. According to him, aspects of the virus "point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored," though he warned this may never be proven.

"All right, put it like this… It's a natural virus that's been, as it were, mucked around with and the characteristics of things like the spike protein, which make it so highly infectious, also point in the direction of it being somewhat tailored," he said. Yes, he admitted it was possible that the virus jumped to humans from nature, but the former intelligence chief reasoned, "It is far more likely – if you're a scientist – that it was put together."

He further slammed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for covering up relevant data and criticized the recent World Health Organization (WHO) investigation, which said a lab leak was highly unlikely and as "farcical," just to avoid opening "a can of worms."

"I think the onus is on the Chinese to prove that it's zoonotic because the evidence strongly suggests to me and a number of eminent scientists that the greater probability is that it's a lab escapee," he added, encouraging an "open debate" on the real origins of SARS-CoV-2. "I think that there is a significant Chinese influence active in this specific area, and China has worked very, very hard in terms of influence in finance to make sure their narrative is dominant," he emphasized.

He added that there is a balance of probability as obviously it cannot be proven, and he thinks it can't be proven because the evidence that could have proved it one way or another has already been destroyed due to the extent of the Chinese clean up. Its influence was hindering the publication of scientific articles on the matter, he asserted.

Dearlove, who is a former "C" of the Secret Intelligence Service, kind of like the "M" in James Bond, told LBC's Tom Swarbrick that more information on the coronavirus' origin will soon come out. He said he expects forthcoming books to further outline the argument for coronavirus' lab origin.

Meanwhile, in America, the lab leak theory was initially discredited by scientific authorities and government officials, though recently, some agencies have endorsed the theory that the virus may have originated in a laboratory. As per FBI Director Christopher Wray back in March, the intel agency has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident. In February, the Department of Energy took back its initial assessment and now admitted that its stand was no longer "undecided" but rather "low confidence" in a lab leak being the origin. Moreover, in 2021, President Joe Biden noted that the intelligence committee had "coalesced around two scenarios" of coronavirus’ origin, one of which was the lab leak theory.

Dearlove: Better not follow Biden's decision to leave Afghanistan

Currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of London, Dearlove also discussed other imminent threats, aside from China and its manipulation and collusion with the U.S. and other global health authorities.

He said that Britain should commit to training the security forces in Afghanistan for another two decades, after Biden announced the American troops are leaving ahead of the September 11 20th year anniversary. For him, it would be a mistake to mirror the U.S. decision as the U.K. had become safer by deposing the old Taliban regime.

"It could be (another 20-year stay)," he said. "I'm not arguing for the massive deployment of troops. I'm arguing for the continued training and equipping of Afghan forces to fight this battle. I mean, you can't really afford now to have these geopolitical vacuums when there are such potent threats." Islamist terror remains the biggest threat to the UK, and far-right terrorism has "so far" been more containable, he said.

During the interview with LBC, the former intel agency head also touched on the freedom of movement in Europe and the migrant crisis throughout the 2010s that impacted British security "to an extent."

He was then asked about reports of Boris Johnson and the use of his phone, with suggestions in recent days that his number was readily available online and news he has been contactable by people in the private sector, Dearlove answered: "Politicians and phones have always been a problem. It is not a unique problem to any single politician, every single politician I have ever known, foreign and British, has used their phones in a way that probably is unwise, that's the nature of political life."

"It's not to do with the behavior of politicians," he further stressed. 

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