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Michael Gove slammed for suggesting Covid-19 was 'man-made' at inquiry

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Michael Gove was slapped down at the official Covid-19 inquiry when he suggested there is a “significant body of judgment” that the virus was “man-made”.The Levelling Up Secretary, from Aberdeen, went further than any Cabinet minister so far in questioning the virus’s origins, which is still a matter of intense scientific debate.

Gove explained the challenges faced by the Government as the crisis unfolded in 2020.The senior Tory said, when asked about shortcomings in preparedness for a new virus: “There is a significant body of judgment that believes that the virus itself was man-made, and that presents challenges as well.”He was quickly cut off by Hugo Keith KC, lead counsel to the inquiry, who said the “divisive” issue is not part of the inquiry’s terms of reference.

He said: “We’re not going to go there.”Mr Gove replied that it is “important to recognise that the virus presented a series of new challenges that required … the science to adjust”.

Covid-19’s origins are still being examined nearly four years after the first cases emerged in Wuhan in China.Some believe the virus accidentally leaked from a laboratory in the city which was looking into similar viruses.

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