French Nobel prize winner: ‘Covid-19 made in lab’

Professor Luc Montagnier is a controversial figure within the scientific community

A controversial French Nobel prize-winning scientist has accused biologists of having created SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes Covid-19 - in a lab, but the wider scientific community has so far refuted the claim.

Luc Montagnier, who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his work on HIV - and who is a very controversial figure in the scientific community - said in an interview this week that “the virus has come out of a laboratory in Wuhan, which has been specialising in these types of coronaviruses since the beginning of the 2000s”.

He made the claim during an interview with news platform CNews.

He said: “We have arrived at the conclusion that this virus was created.” He accused “molecular biologists” of having inserted DNA sequences from HIV into a coronavirus, “probably” as part of their work to find a vaccine against AIDS.

He said that it was not clear how the virus had been able to escape the laboratory, and condemned scientists for doing “the work of a sorcerer’s apprentice”.

Professor Montagnier has said that he is not the first to suggest the connection, and added that “a group of renowned Indian researchers” had also tried to publish a study showing that the new coronavirus includes ...

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