The paper, ‘Recovery of deleted deep sequencing data sheds more light on the early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic’, was released by Professor Jesse Bloom on Tuesday
China deleted crucial Covid data about early cases in Wuhan to ‘obscure its existence’ in the early days of the pandemic, according to new research.
The analysis also claims that the virus was spreading before it was first detected in markets in the city of Wuhan.
The paper, ‘Recovery of deleted deep sequencing data sheds more light on the early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic’, was released by Professor Jesse Bloom on Tuesday.
It claims that a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the epidemic was deleted from the National Institute of Health‘s Sequence Read Archive.
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In the report Professor Bloom said: “The origin and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains shrouded in mystery.
“Here I identify a data set containingSARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH’s Sequence Read Archive.
“I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses.”
He adds that there is “no plausible scientific reason for the deletion” and said: “It therefore seems likely the sequences were deleted to obscure their existence.”
He wrote: “The fact that such an informative data set was deleted has implications beyond those gleaned directly from the recovered sequences.
“Samples from early outpatients in Wuhan are a gold mine for anyone seeking to understand the spread of the virus.
“Even my analysis of the partial sequences is revealing, and it clearly would have been more scientifically informative to fully sequence the samples rather than surreptitiously delete the partial sequences.”
Also in the report he claims that there were cases reported before the original outbreak at the Huanan Seafood Market.
Calls for a full World Health Organisation investigation into the outbreak’s origins have been renewed in recent weeks with President Joe Biden demanding a “redoubled” probe.
China has so far given December 8 to the WHO as the date of its “earliest onset case”.
The nation has faced widespread accusations of fiddling its statistics and misrepresenting its role in the early days of the pandemic.