US officials flagged safety concerns at Wuhan lab two years before coronavirus emerged: report

Two years before coronavirus made international headlines, U.S. embassy officials visited a bioscience lab in Wuhan, China. What they saw there reportedly alarmed them so much that they sent two official warnings back to Washington, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

A leaked cable obtained by the Post highlights poor management and safety issues at the lab -- and one notable concern was for the lab's research on bat coronaviruses.

“The cable tells us that there have long been concerns about the possibility of the threat to public health that came from this lab’s research, if it was not being adequately conducted and protected," says University of California at Berkeley research scientist Xiao Qiang.

While there's no evidence the coronavirus was engineered by humans in a lab setting, some credible observers say that it still doesn't rule out the possibility that it originated in the lab.

“The cable was a warning shot,” a U.S. official told the Post. “They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on.”

Read the full report over at The Washington Post.