onsdag 31. mars 2021

14 countries and WHO chief accuse China of withholding data from pandemic origins investigation

It was supposed to offer insight into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. But since its release on Tuesday, the long-awaited World Health Organization investigation has drawn criticism from governments around the world over accusations it is incomplete and lacks transparency.

In a joint statement, the United States and 13 other governments, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Korea, expressed concerns over the study's limited access to "complete, original data and samples." The European Union issued its own statement, expressing the same concerns in slightly softer language. The criticism follows an admission from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that investigators faced problems during their four-week mission to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in December 2019.

In a news briefing Tuesday, Tedros appeared to contradict the study's central findings by suggesting the theory that the virus escaped from a Wuhan laboratory should be followed up -- even though the report noted such a possibility was "extremely unlikely" and did not recommend further research on the hypothesis.