China’s Silence Prevents Measures to Determine COVID Origin as WHO Urges Countries to Share Data

With the Chinese government refusing to cooperate, the House Intelligence Committee appears to have reached a bipartisan consensus that there is insufficient information to pinpoint the source of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Republican chair of the committee, Ohio’s Mike Turner, and the Democrat on the committee, Connecticut’s Jim Himes, partook in a Sunday interview to make this case.

Turner claimed there is no hard evidence because neither China nor the Wuhan lab admits guilt.

This discussion follows recent news that the Department of Energy, in agreement with the FBI, has determined that an accidental leak in the Wuhan laboratory likely originated the COVID-19 outbreak. Others in government have blamed natural transfer from animals to people.

Himes stated in the interview that various government bodies would make varying assessments due to the lack of information.

On Sunday, Virginia Democrat Senator Mark Warner accused China of being secretive about the matter, saying that scientists worldwide would have already been there if the virus had come from any other country.

A spokesman for the National Security Council, John Kirby, stated last week that there was no consensus inside the United States government over the cause of the pandemic.

Professor at George Washington University Leana Wen told a media outlet on Sunday that she believes there is circumstantial evidence for both sides. However, the intelligence community has concluded and agreed since the beginning that this was not intentional. She also mentioned that the intelligence community had concluded that this was not an attempt to develop a bioweapon by China, scientists, politicians, or political leaders.

While the United States has accused a Chinese lab leak of spreading COVID-19, China has vehemently denied the allegations. Last Friday, the World Health Organization called other countries to share their knowledge of the virus’s origins.

The city in China that houses a viral research laboratory had its first cases of the novel coronavirus late in 2019.

Director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has stressed that it is crucial for any country with knowledge regarding the pandemic’s origins to share that knowledge with WHO and the worldwide scientific community.

He assured the press that the goal was not to assign blame but rather to learn from the experience how to better protect against, plan for, and respond to future pandemics.

The United Nations Health Organization established the Scientific Advisory Committee on the Origins of New Pathogens in 2021 to inquire into the causes of the pandemic.

Tedros stated that WHO is still urging China to be open with data sharing, investigate if needed, and disclose the findings, and that he had met with and written to top Chinese leaders on many occasions to this end.

He went on to say that the politicization of origins research was making things more difficult for scientists and, by extension, less secure for everyone throughout the globe.

FBI Director Wray commented on a report earlier this week which suggested that a leak in a Chinese facility was the most likely cause of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The agency collaborates with a system of national laboratories, some of which do cutting-edge biological research. The United States intelligence community is split on whether or not the virus was deliberately created.

The WHO has reached out to the United States representation in Geneva for clarification, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for COVID-19 at the WHO.

Van Kerkhove, an expert on infectious diseases, said they still needed access to the data on which the U.S. claims were based.

She, too, emphasized the continued importance of sharing such data to advance research efforts in the scientific community.

To honor the millions who died from COVID-19 and those who are now living with long-term COVID, Tedros believed it is morally obligatory to find out where the pandemic began.

The World Health Organization has received reports of more than 6.8 million deaths caused by COVID-19 and more than 758 million confirmed cases.