WHO relaunches investigation into origins of Covid-19: report
The world health body is assembling a team of 20 scientists to search for new evidence, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
According to the WSJ report, the new probe comes following an initial WHO investigation that found data provided by Chinese scientists was insufficient to answer key questions about the origin of the virus.
The report says the new team of scientists, which includes lab safety and biosafety specialists and geneticist experts, may be tasked with examining whether the new virus has emerged from a lab, as well as investigating broader views on future virus risks and links to human behavior.
The WHO believes the new initiative will help speed up an investigation that risks running out of time and that blood samples from the first victims of the virus become unusable.
Earlier in August, the United States released a report tracing the origins of the Covid-19 virus. While rejecting the report, Beijing had filed solemn representations to Washington, qualifying the report as “completely political, and having no scientificity and credibility”.
In a strong statement, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said the United States should “stop poisoning” international cooperation on virus tracing and get back on track with the search for scientific origins and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The declassified summary of a report said the US Intelligence Community (IC) believes the origins of the novel coronavirus disease may never be definitively identified without additional information.
According to the report, the U.S. intelligence community is still divided on which of the two theories – whether the virus originated from a lab leak or that it naturally passed from animals to humans. There is a consensus among intelligence agencies that the two dominant theories are plausible, according to the report.
A WHO-led team of scientists who traveled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of the research China was previously conducting, faced with constraints during his visit and had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research. research.