torsdag 23. mars 2023

China Suspends Access to Western Scientists Searching for COVID Origins

Western scientists researching the origins of the coronavirus pandemic have had their access to an international database suspended due to a complaint from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that they scooped data from a Chinese study.

The scientists—from the U.S., U.K., Canada and France—on Monday published a paper which said analysis of data from the start of the pandemic leant itself to the theory that COVID-19 emerged from a live animal in a wet market in Wuhan, a theory China supports.

The data, which itself caused controversy after being kept from the international community for three years, mysteriously disappeared from the database shortly after being uploaded in January this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The Chinese CDC contends researchers had removed the data to update their own paper.

The latest controversy only adds to the mystery over the origins of the pandemic, the search for which has been frustrated by obfuscation by China, Western officials have previously said. It comes as a growing number of U.S. intelligence agencies and medical experts are entertaining the possibility that the virus spread into the human population as a result of a lab leak.