An unnamed WHO spokesman told the WSJ that the team’s priority should be ‘data and access to the country where the first reports were identified’.
The World Health Organization is developing a team of about 20 scientists who will be tasked with uncovering the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak—and officials have warned that time may be running out, according to a report.
The Wall Street Journal reported On Sunday, officials from the United Nations’ public health arm warned that the world may never know the origins of the virus.
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Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, told the paper that it is unclear whether the team’s mandate will actually be enough to make progress in the investigation.
“China still has all the cards, the WHO lacks the power and it is incomprehensible to me that a new committee would be able to negotiate access to China…
The outbreak has also created additional tension between the US and China. The Biden administration is pressuring WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to renew the investigation, the Journal reports. The WHO did not immediately respond to a late email from Granthshala News.
An unnamed WHO spokesman told the newspaper that the team’s priority should be “data and access to the country where the first reports were identified.”
The US intelligence community failed to conclusively identify the origins of the coronavirus after a 90-day investigation ordered by President Biden earlier this month and experts are divided on why. A report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) found that officials were unable to determine whether the virus originated from a lab or spread to humans through an infected animal.
Clone Kitchen, a former ODNI intelligence official, told Granthshala News that it is in China’s interest to continue to block access to uncover the origins of the virus.
“China is highly encouraged and has been able to deny this information to us,” Kitchen said. “They are encouraging us to deny this information because no matter what it is – whether it is a wet market or a biological facility as to its origin – it is an embarrassment to the Chinese Communist Party. “
The Journal report said Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the UN General Assembly last week and said that his country will “continue to explore and engage in global science-based origins and assertiveness of political maneuvering in any form.” will oppose.”