"I do think that this started as an accident," Sir Richard Dearlove told the Telegraph, citing a peer-reviewed paper by Professor Angus Dalgleish of St George's Hospital at the University of London, and the Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen.
The authors said the virus had been doctored to bind to humans: "We are aware that these findings could have political significance and raise troubling questions."
Dearlove added: "[A]s this debate about the virus develops, I think all this material is going to be in print and is going to embarrass a number of people, I think. Let's suggest that the Chinese maybe have too much say in their journals, in what appears and what doesn't."
He added: "Look, the Chinese understand us extremely well. They have made a study of us over the last decade or longer, particularly through attending our universities. We understand the Chinese very poorly. It's an imbalanced relationship in that respect."
Fox News reported in April about increasing confidence that the COVID-19 outbreak likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China's attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.
Multiple sources who had been briefed on the details of early actions by China's government and who had seen relevant materials told Fox News.
This may be the "costliest government cover-up of all time," one of the sources said.
The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus – a naturally occurring strain that was being studied there – was bat-to-human and that "patient zero" worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan.
The “increasing confidence” came from classified and open-source documents and evidence, the sources said. Fox News requested to see the evidence directly. Sources emphasized -- as is often the case with intelligence -- that it’s not definitive and should not be characterized as such. Some inside the administration and the intelligence and epidemiological communities are more skeptical, and the investigation is continuing.
What all of the sources agree about is the extensive coverup of data and information about COVID-19 orchestrated by the Chinese government.
There are over 6.5 million cases of coronavirus and almost 400,000 attributed deaths globally.