Gottlieb: 'Lab leaks happen all the time'
“These kinds of lab leaks happen all the time, actually. [-]And in China, the last six known outbreaks of SARS-1 have been out of labs, including the last known outbreak, which was a pretty extensive outbreak that China initially wouldn't disclose that it came out of lab,”
The overall idea is perfectly right and important.
To be very precise:
Not really 'outbreaks' but LAIs (Lab Acquired Infections) except for the Beijing-Anhui outbreak that indeed spread to the community.
Outbreak -> transmission into the community.
There were 6 primary cases, meaning 6 cases of initial infections in labs.
Primary case -> not from someone
3 labs were involved (SGP, TWN, CHN), over 4 incidents (by which one means related infections happening at the same time in the same place), and 6 primary cases.
For the Beijing lab (the very top P3 in China at the time - the CDC 'Institute of Virology'):
1st incident in February 04 which was indeed covered up to save face.
We know about it thanks to Caixin: 2 primary cases, names unknown, very little details.
We cannot even tell if the cases were detected and handled accordingly at the time. Zero transparency on these.
So they were either covered-up at the time, or undetected.
Antibody tests done during the investigation of the April cases eventually brought them back to attention.
2nd incident in April: 2 more primary cases, 9 infections in all (with a chain of 8 on one primary case), 1,000+ people in isolation.
This is the only incident mentioned in the very limited extracts of the Chinese report that were made available.
Note that the WHO effectively gave up and eventually left the investigation and (partial) reporting to the Chinese.
China won and learnt that it could ignore the WHO and grind it down. A taste of things to come.