The United States and Britain are calling for the World Health Organization to take an in-depth look at the possible origins of COVID-19, including a new trip to China where the first human infection was detected
GENEVA – The United States and Britain are calling for the World Health Organization to take an in-depth look at the possible origins of COVID-19, including a new trip to China where the first human infection was detected. walked.
Late Thursday, the US diplomatic mission in Geneva issued a statement saying the first phase of the study was “inadequate and inconclusive”, and called for a “timely, transparent, evidence-based and expert-led phase 2 study”. , including the People’s Republic of China.”
The statement – coming in the midst of the WHO’s annual gathering in Geneva – demanded independent experts access to “complete, original data and samples” related to the source of the virus and the initial stages of the outbreak.
“We appreciate the WHO’s stated commitment to move forward with Phase 2 of the COVID-19 original study, and look forward to an update by Director General Tedros Adnom Ghebayeus,” the statement said.
Also on Thursday, British Ambassador to Geneva Simon Manley said that the first phase of the study was “always the beginning of the process, not the end”.
“We call for a timely, transparent, evidence-based and expert-led phase two study involving the People’s Republic of China, as recommended by the experts’ report,” he said.
WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic said in an e-mail that a technical team – led by Peter Ben Ambreck, who led the WHO team in China, which co-authored the first report – “prepared a proposal for the next studies Was doing what would need “to be done.”
Jasarevic said the proposal would be submitted to Tedros “for his consideration”, but said there was no such timetable.
After the first report was released, the WHO chief acknowledged that the early detection of cases and groups, and the potential role of animal markets, transmission through the food chain, and further studies on issues such as the laboratory-event hypothesis, are needed Said Jasarevic.
The push in Geneva amounts to a new front of US pressure, a day after President Joe Biden said he had instructed the US intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to “get information that would give us a To a definite conclusion “. ‘Original, and to report back in 90 days.
Biden’s administration wants to call on China to be more open about the outbreak, which is intended to address complaints from opposition Republican senators that the president is not strict enough, as well as an opportunity to suppress China over the perceived interruption Want to use.
Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have promoted the theory that the virus emerged naturally from a laboratory accident rather than human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China.
On Tuesday, a Chinese representative, who was not identified, told the WHO gathering that China believed the “China part” of the origin-tracing study “is completed.” According to one interpreter, he said China wanted a “global origin-tracing cooperation” – which suggested his government wanted hunting elsewhere.
On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian suggested that US sites should be traced – reiterating Chinese-acclaimed speculation that coronavirus could have flared elsewhere. China has not provided any evidence for such claims.