On Saturday, the U.S. Department of State released a startling fact sheet about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, providing more evidence that not everything about the origins of the coronavirus is as it seems. Coming as it does just as officials from the World Health Organization are going into China for a full-scale investigation about where the pandemic came from, the memo is clearly meant to send a clear message to investigators: Don’t let China dictate the terms of the probe, because it is very obvious that they have something to hide.

“For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin, choosing instead to devote enormous resources to deceit and disinformation. Nearly two million people have died. Their families deserve to know the truth. Only through transparency can we learn what caused this pandemic and how to prevent the next one,” read the statement.

The State Department readily acknowledged that no one knows at this point when COVID-19 made the jump to human beings or how it occurred. However, they said, there are troubling “elements about COVID-19’s origin that deserve greater scrutiny.

Chief among them: Previously-undisclosed illnesses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.

Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people, killing one.

The CCP has prevented independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019. Any credible inquiry into the origin of the virus must include interviews with these researchers and a full accounting of their previously unreported illness.

Wow. That information provides a blindingly-clear roadmap for WHO investigators. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen if they will follow the path.

“A possible focus for investigators is the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the city where the outbreak first emerged. One of China’s top virus research labs, it built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” reports the AP. “According to WHO’s published agenda for its origins research, there are no plans to assess whether there might have been an accidental release of the coronavirus at the Wuhan lab.”

Right.

What can you do except shake your head and sigh…