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State Department staff have warned a Trump-appointed official not to investigate the origins of COVID-19, fearing an investigation could open a box of worms, a leaked memo says

A worker in protective blankets leads members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team as they arrive at Wuhan airport in central China’s Hubei province on Thursday, January 14, 2021. AP Photo / Ng Han Guan

  • Government staff have warned executives against investigating the origins of COVID-19, Vanity Fair reports.

  • State Department official Thomas DiNanno said staff believed a probe “would open a box of worms.”

  • The theory that the virus has leaked from a Chinese laboratory has gained traction in recent weeks.

  • Sign up for the daily 10 Things in Politics newsletter.

Staff at two U.S. government offices have warned executives against continuing an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 because it would “open a box of worms,” ​​according to an internal memo seen by Vanity Fair.

Thomas DiNanno, former acting deputy secretary of the State Department’s Office of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, said in the Jan. 9 memo that staff at two offices told managers “not to continue investigation into the origin of COVID-19 “, by Salon de la vanité.

DiNanno, appointed by former President Donald Trump, said in the memo that his team had faced “apprehension and contempt” from technical staff, and “a complete lack of responses to briefings and presentations” on the question.

DiNanno was responding to a note from Chris Ford, Acting Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security.

The staff who raised the concerns were from DiNanno’s office and the Office for International Security and Non-Proliferation, DiNanno said in the note.

The theory that COVID-19 has leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan has gained traction in recent weeks, but many scientists still dispute its likelihood.

Last month, President Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials to “redouble their efforts” to investigate the origins of the virus and provide a report within 90 days.

A renewed interest in the theory of laboratory leaks came after a report by the Wall Street Journal in May, which said that three scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology – which studies coronaviruses in bats – are went to hospital in November 2019 with symptoms similar to COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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