A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the covid-19 virus may well have come from an animal, but more investigation is needed to find out how it managed to jump to humans and is also considering the possibility that it was the result of a lab-leak.
China is not happy. At all.
“Further investigations” were recommended by the WHO’s scientific advisory board into the possibility the virus came from a lab but noted that no conclusions had been made because there “has not been any new data made available.”
Initially, the agency had reported that the possibility of the virus being leaked from a lab was “extremely unlikely.”
“All hypotheses must remain on the table until we have evidence that enables us to rule certain hypotheses in or out,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a June 9 press conference. “This make[s] it all the more urgent that this scientific work be kept separate from politics.”
The Epoch Times had reported that a footnote inside the report had stated Russia, Brazil, and China, all three being panel members, had objected to the recommendations, insisting there was “no scientific evidence” to question the previous conclusion made in March 2021.
Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) had authored the report and was tasked with advising the WHO about pathogens that have the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic and studying the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.
The group was established after over a dozen countries raised concerns about a study into the origins of covid – due to China being reluctant to give access to data and the lack of transparency.
The preliminary report stated that there were still “key pieces of data” missing to fully determine where the pandemic started, and the group added that the current data suggests the virus originated in animals – specifically bats in China and Laos.
“However, so far neither the virus progenitors nor the natural/intermediate hosts or spill-over event to humans have been identified,” it stated.
The Wuhan wet market, according to the belief of the scientific advisory group, was where the first infections were recorded in China and “played an important role early in the amplification of the pandemic.”
The Washington Post noted that Chinese officials slammed the report, and the Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said this past Friday that the theory was “anti-China” sentiments and politically motivated.
“The lab leak theory is totally a lie concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes, which has nothing to do with science,” he said, adding “We always supported and participated in science-based global virus tracing, but we firmly opposed any forms of political manipulation.”
Zhao then suggested that the virus originated in a US military lab, citing “highly suspicious laboratories such as Fort Detrick.”
More via the Epoch Times:
Jamie Metzl, who sits on an unrelated WHO advisory group, has suggested that the Group of Seven industrialized nations set up their own COVID-19 origins probe, saying WHO lacks the political authority, expertise, and independence to conduct such a critical evaluation.
Metzl welcomed WHO’s call for a further investigation into the lab leak possibility but said it was insufficient.
“Tragically, the Chinese government is still refusing to share essential raw data and will not allow the necessary, full audit of the Wuhan labs,” he told The Associated Press. “Gaining access to this information is critical to both understanding how this pandemic began and preventing future pandemics.”
The Republican-led subcommittee in the House of Representatives, headed by Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana on the covid pandemic, took to Twitter, writing: “Americans were smeared as ‘conspiracy theorists’ for asking whether #COVID19 came from a lab leak. Now, the WHO is asking the same questions.”