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As Covid origin continues to elude experts, WHO for lab leak theory study

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(TibetanReview.net, Jun10’22) – After strenuously ruling out lab accident as a possible reason for the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 6.3 million people across the world over the last two years to enable China to keep it in its good book, the World Health Organization (WHO) is finally recommending that a deeper probe is required into whether a lab accident may be to blame, reported the AP Jun 9.

That stance marks a sharp reversal of the UN health agency’s initial assessment of the pandemic’s origins, and comes after many critics accused WHO of being too quick to dismiss or underplay a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive, the report noted.

WHO concluded last year that it was “extremely unlikely” Covid-19 might have spilled into humans in the city of Wuhan from a lab. Yet in a report released Jun 9, WHO’s expert group said “key pieces of data” to explain how the pandemic began were still missing. The report cited scientists as saying the group would “remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future to allow for comprehensive testing of all reasonable hypotheses.”

“Tragically, the Chinese government is still refusing to share essential raw data and will not allow the necessary, full audit of the Wuhan labs,” Jamie Metzl, who sits on an unrelated WHO advisory group, was quoted as saying. “Gaining access to this information is critical to both understanding how this pandemic began and preventing future pandemics.”

The report said WHO’s expert group also noted that since lab accidents in the past had triggered some outbreaks, the highly politicized theory could not be discounted.

The report is seen as being likely to revive accusations that WHO initially was too accepting of Chinese government explanations early in the outbreak, which ultimately killed millions of people, sickened millions more, forced dozens of countries into lockdown and upended the world economy.

In Mar 2021, WHO released a report about Covid-19’s origins following a highly choreographed visit by international scientists to China. The report concluded that the disease most likely jumped into humans from bats and that there was no evidence to suggest there was a connection to a laboratory.

Yet after considerable criticism, including from some scientists on WHO’s team, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged that it was “premature ” to rule out a lab leak and said he asked China to be more transparent in sharing information.

The report cited experts as saying no studies had been provided to WHO that assessed the possibility of Covid-19 resulting from a laboratory leak.

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