USA urges 'transparent' World Health Organization inquiry into Covid origins

USA urges 'transparent' World Health Organization inquiry into Covid origins

USA urges 'transparent' World Health Organization inquiry into Covid origins

Critics question the transparency around the first mission, called for in a resolution passed last May by World Health Organization member countries, and insist that far more investigation in China was needed.

A State Department fact sheet released near the end of the Trump administration said "the USA government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses".

Information about the researchers was published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

"We need to get to the bottom of this and we need a completely transparent process from China", said Slavitt.

The origin of the virus is hotly contested.

Though authorities have spent most of the pandemic's duration suggesting that the virus was passed from animals - likely bats - to humans, that has changed in recent days.

There are many theories out there, with one of the most popular is that the coronavirus was engineered by researchers and came out of a lab in Wuhan, China, be it by mistake or design.

In April 2020, NBC News reported that the USA had indications as far back as November of a possible health crisis in Wuhan.

Metzl noted that Shi's claim that there were no Chinese military experiments in the lab has also been contradicted by the State Department, which said past year that the lab "has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China's military".

"The US continues to hype the lab leak theory", the ministry told the WSJ. Trump as president referred to the pathogen as the "China virus" and the "China plague".

One official said that the intelligence was provided by an worldwide partner and still needs further investigation and additional collaboration, the daily reported. Both were assembled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Fauci said earlier this month that he is "not convinced" that the Covid-19 virus developed naturally, and that he supported further investigation into the origins.

"Phase 2 of the COVID origins study must be launched with terms of reference that are transparent, science-based, and give global experts the independence to fully assess the source of the virus and the early days of the outbreak", US health secretary Xavier Becerra said in a video message to the annual ministerial meeting of the World Health Organization.

Citing an undisclosed United States intelligence report, the newspaper provided new details on how many researchers were taken ill, when they were ill, and their trips to the hospital. It also comes on the eve of a meeting of the World Health Organization decision-making body, which is expected to discuss the next phase of investigation into the origin of COVID-19.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, a former head of the FDA, said Monday on CNBC that evidence the virus was leaked from a Wuhan lab is growing.

The WHO, which opened its annual ministerial assembly on Monday, has not announced any follow-up to the Wuhan mission but member states may raise concerns in speeches to the week-long forum. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is due to address it on Tuesday. Since it was first detected in late 2019 the virus has killed at least 3,470,000 people around the world.

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