New Delhi, March 13: Congress lawmaker Manish Tewari on Friday shared a report which carried quotes by a bioweapons expert who claimed that "coronavirus is a bioweapon" that leaked from a lab in Wuhan, the epicentre of COVID-19 outbreak. In the report by, Francis Boyle referred to a study to assert that coronavirus could be a bioweapon that may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Coronavirus Outbreak: Conspiracy Theories Floating on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp About Deadly Virus Spread.

Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois. He served on the board of directors of Amnesty International, the Advisory Board for the Council for Responsible Genetics and drafted the US legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. He mentioned a study titled "Coronavirus 2019-nCoV contains a furin-like cleavage site absent in CoV of the same clade". Instagram Influencers Cash on Coronavirus Outbreak Crisis, Get Slammed For Turning Face Masks Into Fashion Accessories (View Pics).

"It (the study) was published on antiviral research February 10, 2020, I read this over the weekend, now I’m not going to go through this whole study, but they did a genetic analysis of the Wuhan coronavirus," professor Boyle was quoted as saying. "And the smoking gun here is on page 11, near the bottom, the last full paragraph from the bottom where it says: 'May provide a gain of function to coronavirus for efficient spreading in the human population'," he added.

Manish Tewari's Tweet:

"So, I think clearly that the Wuhan coronavirus came out of that BSL-4 facility, this is clearly a weaponised biological warfare agent and there is no legitimate scientific or medical use for gain of function technology," professor Boyle concluded. Earlier Iran’s former President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and US Senator Tom Cotton echoed similar views.

A former Israeli intelligence officer, Dany Shoham, speaking to Washington Times, had also suspected that the coronavirus outbreak could be the result of an escape of a biological weapon. Shoham claimed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was secretly making bio-weapons for China and coronavirus may have originated there. However, no authority has backed his claims.

Tweeting the report by, Manish Tewari said: "CoronaVirus is a bio-weapon that went rouge or was made to go rouge. It is an act of Terror. International investigation conducted either under auspices of ICJ or ICC is necessary to unearth the truth & bring focus back on eradicating Biological Weapons."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 13, 2020 12:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website