International Scientists Call for New Inquiry Into COVID-19 Origins

Alternatives needed in case Chinese regime won’t cooperate, they say
By Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.
July 1, 2021 Updated: July 2, 2021

A group of internationally renowned scientists has issued another open letter calling for a new, thorough inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic by an international investigative team. The letter also provided solutions to the possible scenario of the Chinese communist regime not cooperating with such an investigation.

On June 28, the Paris Group published the open letter with major French media Le Figaro. The group is made up of 31 leading scientists and doctors from countries around the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, India, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Japan.

The letter notes that COVID-19 has been raging around the world for more than a year, but the origin of the virus hasn’t been identified.

A report by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) team that visited Wuhan, China, a year after the outbreak to seek its origins—now shown to have included key members with a clear conflict of interest—was inconclusive and raised doubts globally, especially in Western countries.

“We believe that the joint study process that the WHO is currently calling for, in its current form, does not satisfy the conditions to be credible due to serious structural gaps,” the letter reads.

The letter also addresses the Chinese regime’s attempt to erase related data, pointing out: “The measures taken by the Chinese government to hide the origins, and stop Chinese experts from sharing certain essential information and detailed data clearly show that the current process, without significant changes, has no chance of putting a complete or credible inquiry in place for all possible scenarios.”

The letter states that it’s “particularly regrettable that no exhaustive inquiry on all the plausible origins has been undertaken, and that none is planned.”

“We ask for a new scientific inquiry into all the plausible origin hypothesis, which has unlimited access to all the pertinent files, samples, and staff in China, and elsewhere if necessary,” the scientists urge in the letter.

The direction of the investigation should include the possibility of the virus leaking from the laboratory, the letter suggests.

Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 23, 2017. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

If the Chinese regime won’t cooperate in such an investigation, the group has suggested launching an international investigation mission without China’s participation, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Group of Seven Industrial Countries (G-7), or other institutions.

“A well-organized and concerted effort, free of interference, drawing on all available sources of information and involving a large number of experts, may well end up providing unambiguous evidence supporting one particular hypothesis regarding the origins of the pandemic,” the letter reads.

The suggestion is based on the fact that sufficient data are available worldwide for such an inquiry, the scientists argue.

“A great number of very pertinent details can be collected without the participation of the Chinese authorities. Many governmental and individual scientists across the world have already gathered, and started to analyse, significant quantities of pertinent data,” the letter reads.

The letter further suggests that the inquiry would also need the cooperation of the United States and the European Union in sharing documents and data.

The letter comes at a time when more evidence is emerging, with the international community now turning focus to the virology lab in Wuhan that has been conducting gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in cooperation with the Chinese regime’s military.

This is the fourth open letter this year calling for a new independent and thorough inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. The Paris Group issued another two letters earlier this year. In March, the first letter stated that an inquiry into the role of major science journals in concealing information of the pandemic, such as The Lancet, is in order.

They issued a second open letter on April 7, condemning the WHO’s report. The letter received significant coverage in French newspapers.

Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.