According to the findings from the WHO team, a scenario where an animal host such as a wild animal that was captured and raised on a farm “very likely” spread the virus to humans. However, that animal has not yet been determined.
“The possible intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive,” the report stated, referring to another name for the virus.
The report’s conclusion was largely based on the WHO’s investigative efforts in January and February of this year. Critics noted that the Chinese communist regime had a significant role in their investigation and accused them of again engaging in a cover-up.
Tedros also stated Tuesday that “scientists would benefit from full access to data including biological samples from at least September 2019” and that “in my discussions with the team, they expressed the difficulties they encountered in accessing raw data. I expect future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.”
Atlantic Council senior fellow Jamie Metzl, a WHO adviser and former staffer for President Joe Biden, told CBS News that the investigation in China is akin to allowing the Soviet Union to probe the cause of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Soviet officials were blamed for covering up the 1986 nuclear disaster and not informing the rest of the world.
The Trump administration last year moved to terminate the United States’ relationship with the WHO over its mishandling of the virus and its alleged pro-China bias. The Biden administration has since reversed the decision.
Metzl suggested that it was the CCP that carried out the investigation and showed its findings to the WHO committee.
“Imagine if we had asked the Soviet Union to do a co-investigation of Chernobyl—it doesn’t really make sense,” Metzl said.
During WHO’s investigation in China, Jonna Mazet, a founding executive director of the UC Davis One Health Institute, said there has been a lack of CCP cooperation, noting that American scientists were not able to conduct investigations inside China. “We need to step back…and let scientists get the real answer without the finger-pointing,” she said, according to The Associated Press in a report earlier this year.
The WHO’s findings, meanwhile, came days after former U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that he believes the CCP virus “escaped” from a top-security laboratory in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in September or October 2019. Redfield said that such situations—where a virus leaks from a lab—are more common than people realize.