The probes to find out the origin of the Covid-19 causing novel coronavirus are being “poisoned by politics”m said a top official of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
This Wednesday, United States president Joe Biden announced that he had ordered the intelligence agencies of the country to conduct “a report on their most up-to-date analysis of the origins of Covid-19, including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident.”
US and European officials have been putting increasing pressure on the WHO in recent days to examine for another time on whether the novel coronavirus may have accidently escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. The latest calls on finding the origin of the virus surfaced after the emergence of a previously undisclosed US intelligence report which revealed that three researchers at the suspected lab in China had sought hospital care after they had fallen ill with symptoms similar to those of Covid-19 in November 2019 which was prior to when the officially recorded first cases of Covid-19 were reported from Wuhan in China.
Executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Mike Ryanasked if countries could separate the politics from the science.
“Putting WHO in a position like it has been put in is very unfair to the science we’re trying to carry out, and it puts us as an organization, frankly, in an impossible position to deliver the answers that the world wants,” Ryan said at a news briefing.
There have been repeated accusations against the WHO of not being tough on China and of allowing the Chinese government to avoid a thorough investigation into the origins of Covid-19. The disease first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
The White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci was pressed on the WHO’s close ties to China bhy Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. at a Senate hearing earlier this week.
“Can we agree that if you took (Chinese) President Xi Jinping and turned him upside down and shook him, the World Health Organization would fall out of his pocket?” Fauci responded by saying that he has no way of knowing China’s influence on the agency.
The hypothesis that the virus causing Covid-19 first came out of a Wuhan virology lab – even by accident, was initially dismissed as being a right-wing conspiracy theory. But in recent weeks the theory has gained traction.
Both the theories of the origin of the virus – in a lab or in an animal, are equally plausible, believes the majority of the intelligence community. Their position that the virus was more likely to have had zoonotic origins is maintained by the US federal health officials. The CDC’s website still states “we know that it originally came from an animal, likely a bat.”
(Adapted from CNBC.com)