Evidence is rapidly accumulating that China not only covered up the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the coronavirus initially leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Explosive new reports based on intelligence sources go further than that: The laboratory’s suspected “gain of function” research was linked to “secret military activity,” which ultimately culminated in an improbably early COVID-19 vaccine patent.

Indeed, the ‘warp speed’ rollout of the vaccine would be virtually impossible, unless the Chinese were already conducting research on the deadly coronavirus with the aim of developing their own vaccine.

The Australian reported on Friday that the “U.S. paid for the People’s Liberation Army to engineer coronaviruses.” The implications of the Pentagon funding such dangerous research in authoritarian China are sweeping and profound.

National security sources said the ties between Zhou [Yusen] and Dr Shi ­[Zhengli aka the “Bat Woman”] supported claims by US intelligence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaged in “secret military activity.”

“Zhou, who conducted the research in conjunction with the Wuhan institute, the University of Minnesota and the New York Blood Centre, was the first to file a patent for a Covid-19 vaccine on February 24 last year, according to documents obtained by The Weekend Australian.”

This was only five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus.

The holder of the patent is striking. “Zhou is listed as the lead inventor on the patent application lodged by the ‘Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA’,” the report states.

The Australian contacted a viral expert who corroborates that the vaccine timeline is virtually impossible.

Nikolai Petrovsky, a medical researcher at Flinders University who has been developing a Covid-19 vaccine, said that while it was technically possible to have a vaccine in this time frame, it ­appeared to be a “remarkable achievement”.

He said it left open the possibility the Chinese scientists were working on a vaccine before authorities publicly admitted there was a coronavirus outbreak.

“This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much ­earlier,” Professor Petrovsky said.

The plot thickens. One of the scientists involved in the research, Zhou Yusen, was the subject of an “unexplained death” in May 2020 after a probe into the origins of COVID-19 had begun.

Five Eyes intelligence is investigating the mysterious death as part of a probe that was initiated by the Biden administration.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that scientific researchers now believe that the RNA sequence in the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost certainly unnatural in origin.

“The CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here,” the scientists wrote in the WSJ.

“A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus,” they added.

As revealed on Saturday, there are reports that a high-ranking Chinese official with knowledge of the PLA’s bioweapons programs has defected to the United States and is now in the possession of the Defense Intelligence Agency. What revelations that alleged Chinese defector might disclose are certainly of the utmost importance to U.S. national security and the world.