The Lancet on July 5 published a statement reasserting that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest COVID-19 escaped from a lab, signed mostly by the same team of scientists who dismissed the lab-leak hypothesis in a February 2020 statement. But the new statement is missing three signatories from the original one, including William Karesh, who has ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Karesh is the executive vice president for health policy at EcoHealth Alliance, the group that was funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab with grants from the National Institutes for Health. EcoHealth’s president, Peter Daszak, organized the original statement, whose signatories included Karesh, Peter Palese of the Icahn School of Medicine, and Bernard Roizman of the University of Chicago. Those three signatures are all absent from the new statement, though Daszak signed both.