A new international investigation into the origins of Covid-19 is needed, with or without Chinese government involvement: the one conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in China was not rigorous enough and failed to provide credible answers. This is the request contained in a letter circulated yesterday by 24 US, European, Japanese and Australian scientists and researchers.
The signatories write that the WHO investigative mission to Wuhan (Hubei), where the disease first appeared at the end of 2019, was unduly influenced by political factors. For Jamie Metzl, the Atlantic Council researcher who wrote the letter, WHO has made compromises to obtain a minimum of cooperation from the Chinese authorities.
The WHO published the results of the investigation on March 30th. The most likely hypothesis for the investigative team is that of the transmission of the disease from an “intermediate” species (a bat) to humans. The report also considers the possibility that the virus spread due to an accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology very unlikely.
To dispel any doubts about this possibility, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said new investigations with a team of specialists are needed. Tedros pointed out that investigators did not have access to all the raw data and he called on Beijing to share the information requested in a more complete and timely manner.
Tedros’ conclusions coincide with those of the 24 scholars. They point out that the WHO report’s conclusions are based on Chinese scientific research that was never published, and that the organization’s investigators did not have access to vital information and biological samples.
The Chinese regime has always ruled out the “laboratory leak” theory and demands that investigations now focus on other countries. Chinese state media have advanced the hypothesis that Covid arrived in Wuhan through frozen food imported from abroad.
Several governments, especially the Trump administration, have accused Tedros of covering up Beijing’s mistakes in the early stages of the pandemic: The WHO delayed the declaration on human-to-human transmissibility of the virus and decreeing a global emergency. Moreover, the international organisation did not insist its experts go to Wuhan at the beginning of the health crisis.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies)