According to Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, the SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times.
In May of 2019, less than a year before the outbreak began, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a press release that gave an overview of the projects that the new lab was currently working on. The projects included SARS, Ebola, Hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, avian influenza A(H5N1), Rift Valley fever, and others.
Scientists have examined the genetic code of the new virus and have found that it is more closely related to SARS than any other human coronavirus. In BSL-4 labs, researchers can tweak or combine deadly viruses to create mutated strains of the original illness. A 2013 report in Nature indicated that scientists in China were creating hybrid viruses in labs.