The Covid investigation should focus on finding out whether the coronavirus was created in a Chinese laboratory, says former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson believes the theory that coronavirus was created by humans in a Chinese laboratory should be investigated as part of the Covid investigation, writes the Daily Mail.
The former prime minister, who will make his long-awaited statement to the inquiry into government policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, told friends he was puzzled why the hearing did not consider whether the virus's origins were natural or the result of an accidental leak from a Wuhan institute in China.
When British cabinet minister Michael Gove told the inquiry last week that there was a "significant amount of judgment" that Covid was caused by humans, he was interrupted by Hugo inquiry lawyer Keith Casey, who said it was a "somewhat moot point", writes Daily Mail.
But Johnson shares Gove's view that the emergence of coronavirus has implications for future pandemic preparedness.
A source close to Johnson said: "Boris believes it is legitimate to ask how the virus spread and whether it was created or manipulated by people. Many of the senior Conservatives who spoke were surprised that the core question of the origins of the pandemic was not raised. There will certainly be research into the issue is critical to preventing future pandemics?"
Johnson is also understood to believe the inquiry should spend more time assessing the merits and demerits of curbing the economy, rather than fighting between government figures during the crisis.
The former prime minister prepared for his speech for more than a year, studying about 6,000 pages of documentation, the Daily Mail notes.
The insider claims Johnson spent much of last week secluded with his lawyer Brian Altman, "eating endless sandwiches and cups of coffee." He is expected to vigorously defend his record during the crisis, pointing to the success of the vaccination programme, the fact that the National Health Service has not collapsed and Britain's relatively early exit from lockdown.
His allies also noted that Britain ranked "in the middle" in global estimates of excess deaths in developed countries.
However, Johnson is expected to apologize to the inquiry when he appears before it on Wednesday morning, and will also admit that the government has not made all the right decisions.
His evidence follows weeks of harsh criticism, with his former communications director Lee Cain saying the pandemic was the "wrong crisis" for Johnson's "skill set". Former chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance later claimed that Johnson was "misled" by the science.
Michael Gove told the inquiry that the UK was "not as well prepared as we should ideally have been", pointing to "the nature of the fact that the virus was new".
He added: "Indeed, although I think this is probably beyond the scope of the investigation, there is a significant number of views that believe that the virus itself was man-made - and that also poses its own set of problems."
The origin of Covid-19 is still under investigation, the Daily Mail emphasizes. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that research into the source of the virus had been suspended due to difficulties in conducting critical research in China.
In April 2020, The Mail on Sunday became the first mainstream media outlet in the world to expose fears of a virus leak from a Chinese laboratory, reporting that Cobra - the government's secret emergency committee - was reviewing intelligence about the alleged incident at the Wuhan Institute virology.