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Tags: who | china | coronavirus | source

China-WHO Report Dismisses Lab Leak as Source of COVID

peter ben embarek holds up chart
In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo, Peter Ben Embarek of the World Health Organization team holds up a chart showing pathways of transmission of the virus during a joint news conference at the end of the WHO mission in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 29 March 2021 06:24 AM EDT

A controversial China-WHO study into COVID-19’s origins blames virus transmission from animals to humans with starting the outbreak and dismisses the notion the pandemic originated from a lab leak – even though that premise has been found highly credible at top levels of the U.S. government.

The conclusions contained in the China-WHO report, a draft copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, cast any chance the virus started with an accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as “extremely unlikely.” The report also calls for further research into every area covered within – except the lab leak hypothesis.

The report’s release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent further blame for the pandemic falling on China. Late last week, Reuters reported that some WHO team members believed China was potentially holding back key data that would establish the virus was being transmitted earlier than believed.

Secretary’s of State for both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have cast doubt on the China-backed study and that country’s favored hypothesis about the virus’ origins. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had "real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” in a recent CNN interview.

It was also recently revealed that, before leaving office, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliberately allowed China to eavesdrop on a phone call in which Pompeo directly alleged the virus was a result of a Wuhan lab leak, according to the Daily Mail.

“We did it on an open phone to ensure the Chinese could hear it,” a source told the Mail. “We were sending a message – we wanted to tell the Chinese.”

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield told CNN on Sunday that China’s behavior in the aftermath of the pandemic could be considered part of a “cover-up.”

“I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory — you know, escaped,” Redfield said. “Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine.”

Among those “other people” are the authors of the China-WHO report, which listed four scenarios that may have led to the emergence of COVID-19. Transmission from bats to humans through another animal was viewed as most likely, with direct spread from bats to humans rated likely and spread through food products deemed possible, though not likely.

The theory the coronavirus outbreak began with a lab accident was marked as the least likely possibility in the report.

The report cited several reasons for all but dismissing the possibility the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan. The China-WHO report says such laboratory accidents are rare and states labs in Wuhan working on coronaviruses and vaccines are well-managed. It also noted that there is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019 and that the risk of accidentally growing the virus was extremely low.

The report is based largely on a visit by a WHO team of international experts to Wuhan, the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected, from mid-January to mid-February.

The draft report is inconclusive on whether the outbreak started at a Wuhan seafood market that had one of the earliest clusters of cases in December 2019.

The discovery of other cases before the Huanan market outbreak suggests it may have started elsewhere. But the report notes there could have been milder cases that went undetected and that could be a link between the market and earlier cases.

“No firm conclusion therefore about the role of the Huanan market in the origin of the outbreak, or how the infection was introduced into the market, can currently be drawn,” the report said.

The market was an early suspect because some stalls sold a range of animals — and some wondered if they had brought the new virus to Wuhan. The report noted that a range of animal products — including everything from bamboo rats to deer, often frozen — were sold at the market, as were live crocodiles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
A controversial China-WHO study into COVID-19’s origins blames virus transmission from animals to humans with starting the outbreak and dismisses the notion the pandemic originated from a lab leak – even though that premise has been found highly credible at top levels of the U.S. government.
who, china, coronavirus, source
693
2021-24-29
Monday, 29 March 2021 06:24 AM
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