Scientists React to Joe Biden’s Order for a COVID Origin Investigation
The scientific community has reacted to suggestions for more research into COVID-19’s origins, including those made by US Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden revealed yesterday that he had directed the US Intelligence Community to provide a report within 90 days on material that “may bring us closer to a definite judgment” on the virus’s origins.
There has been concern that the virus may have escaped from a laboratory, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has ruled this out as “extremely unlikely.”
On Wednesday, Biden said the US Intelligence Community had looked into the origins of COVID-19 separately and found “two possible scenarios,” without going into further.
He went on to say that the community had reached the conclusion that “the majority of elements do not believe there is enough knowledge to consider one to be more likely than the other.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, a US intelligence report released last week claimed three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became unwell in November 2019 and sought hospital treatment, further aggravating the situation.
Some experts, on the other hand, believe that calls for deeper research will cause international tensions, potentially disrupting attempts to cope with the epidemic and avoid future outbreaks.
“A confrontational approach will make things worse,” Amanda Glassman, a global health specialist at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, told the journal Nature.
In order to achieve worldwide health goals like ramping up vaccine manufacturing, David Fidler, a global health researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in Washington, DC, adding that there should be a “turning down of the geopolitical heat.”
Others argue that understanding where the virus originated is critical to preventing future outbreaks. “Knowing the genesis of SARS-CoV-2 is critical in understanding where and how this virus evolved, and what we need to do to prevent future pandemics,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom.
In any event, Biden isn’t the only one who wants more investigation.
In a letter published in the journal Science earlier this month, 18 experts from various universities stated that the hypothesis of “accidental release from a lab” is still valid, adding, “We must accept speculations regarding both natural and. This is a condensed version of the information.