WHO requests ‘transparent’ information and cooperation from China in the COVID-19 origin investigation.
According to the Associated Press, the World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised China to be “transparent, open, and cooperative, especially on the information, raw data, that we requested in the early days of the pandemic.”
According to Tedros, there was a “premature drive” to dismiss the hypothesis that the coronavirus originated in a government lab in Wuhan, where the first cases were reported. WHO first disregarded the hypothesis in a March study, calling it “very implausible.”
Tedros said, “I was a lab technician myself.” “I’m an immunologist who has worked in a lab, and lab mishaps do happen,” she says. It’s quite common.”
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The hypothesis that the epidemic began in a laboratory—and maybe involves an engineered virus—has gained popularity in recent months, especially since President Joe Biden ordered a review of US intelligence in May to investigate the possibilities.
China has retaliated forcefully, claiming that attempts to link COVID-19’s origins to a lab were politically driven and that the virus may have originated elsewhere. China stated at the World Health Organization’s annual conference of health ministers in the spring that the search for COVID-19’s origins should continue—in other countries.
The coronavirus is thought to have originated in bats, but the exact method by which it initially infected humans—whether through an intermediary species or some other means—has yet to be identified. Identifying the natural source of an animal virus like Ebola or SARS can take decades.
To determine if the pandemic had any laboratory linkages, Tedros stated that “checking what happened, especially in our labs” is critical.
“We need firsthand information on what the state of this lab was before and at the onset of the pandemic,” the WHO director-general said, emphasizing the need of China’s cooperation. “If we have all of the facts, we can rule out (the lab connection).”
Despite senior WHO officials griping privately about obfuscation from their Chinese counterparts, Tedros has lauded China for its speed and transparency during the outbreak.
The Associated Press reported last year that the WHO was irritated by a lack of information from China during the early phases of the coronavirus’ spread and that China was to blame. This is a condensed version of the information.