US, 13 Nations Question the Integrity of WHO-China Study on CCP Virus Origin

US, 13 Nations Question the Integrity of WHO-China Study on CCP Virus Origin
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 6, 2020. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
Bill Pan
The United States on Tuesday joined more than a dozen other nations to express shared concerns about a World Health Organization (WHO) study into the origins of the CCP virus, pointing to the report's delay and lack of access to crucial data.
"Together, we support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic," reads the statement signed by the governments of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China," the statement continued, acknowledging the importance of the international mission into the Chinese megalopolis of Wuhan, where the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus first emerged, but also emphasizing that the study was "significantly delayed" and lacked access to "complete, original data and samples."

The Chinese communist regime, although wasn't directly mentioned in the joint statement, has been criticized for deliberately holding back the truth about the virus and allowing it to turn into a global crisis. Beijing for months rejected calls for an international probe and it wasn't until this January that a WHO-led team of foreign experts was allowed to conduct a 2-week study in Wuhan and exchange information with their Chinese counterparts.

The 10-member team was met with obstructions after their arrival. Two members were denied entry into China due to visa issues, which Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying attributed to a "misunderstanding." Another team member, Australian microbiologist Dominic Dwyer, revealed that they had requested raw patient data on 174 cases identified by the Chinese health authority in December 2019 around Wuhan's wildlife market, as well as other potential earlier cases, but were only provided with a summary.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has agreed that the probe was "not extensive enough" and the experts had struggled to get their hands on key information during their stay in China.

The WHO report, while not making any firm conclusions, rated the theory that the CCP virus escaped from a lab as "extremely unlikely," and the theory that the virus jumping from bats to humans via an intermediary animal as "most likely."

"I welcome the recommendations for further research, including a full analysis of the trade in animals and products in markets across Wuhan, particularly those linked to early human cases," Tedros said Tuesday.

"Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy," he added.

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