China’s central role in stopping investigation on Kovid-19 origin exposed

China’s central role in stopping investigation on Kovid-19 origin exposed

WASHINGTON: Calls for a renewed investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, which has killed millions and battered the global economy, continue to grow with China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) at the center of global scrutiny.
A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) investigation found that China resisted international pressure for the investigation, which it saw as an attempt to deflect blame. China delayed the investigation for months, gained veto rights over participants and insisted on including other countries in its purview.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO)-led team, which traveled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus, struggled to get a clear picture of what China is already doing. was researching, encountered obstacles during his journey and had little power. To conduct thorough, unbiased research without the blessing of the Chinese government.
In addition, Chinese officials declined to provide WHO investigators with raw data on confirmed and possible early Covid-19 cases that could help determine how and when the coronavirus first spread in China.
Chinese researchers also directed the US government archive to remove the gene sequences of early COVID-19 cases, removing an important clue.
The WHO team found no evidence of live mammals being sold at the Wuhan market linked to early COVID-19 cases, and quoted market officials as saying there was no illegal wildlife trade there. A study later suggested that the Wuhan market was the site of an extensive trade in illegally closed wildlife, providing evidence that the virus could have jumped naturally from market animals to humans.
The WHIO-led team initially announced that a laboratory accident was an extremely unlikely cause of the pandemic. However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus later called for further investigation into the lab-leaked hypothesis.
In an earlier report, the WSJ had revealed that an unused copper mine area in southwest China had become an underground home to the closely known virus that causes COVID-19. In April 2012, six miners fell ill with a mysterious illness after entering a mine to clean bat guano, killing three of them.
Unanswered suspicions about miners’ disease, viruses found at the site, and research carried out with them pushed an idea into the mainstream, once dismissed as a conspiracy theory, that SARS-COV- 2 may have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. . China has strongly denied that the virus originated from Wuhan.
Now, WHO-led investigators are pushing for a second phase of research into the origins of the virus, warning that the time is running out in China to examine blood samples and other important clues.
Meanwhile, the WSJ revealed a US intelligence report that in November 2019 three WIV researchers became ill enough to require hospital care.
In late May, US President Joe Biden ordered that US intelligence agencies report to him within 90 days how the virus emerged, focusing on two scenarios – whether the coronavirus came from human contact with an infected animal or laboratory. by accident.
Meanwhile, scientists around the world and organizations such as the American Red Cross and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are looking for new clues in frozen blood, searching for COVID-19 antibodies or signs of infection.
Other independent scientists are also trying to piece together a picture of how the virus could have evolved before it exploded in late 2019.
A new report recently revealed that China removed preliminary coronavirus data in a possible bid to hide its origins – hence hampering the WHO’s investigation of the virus.
According to the WSJ, at least four recent studies have identified epidemic strains of coronaviruses in bats and pangolins in Southeast Asia and Japan, an indication that these pathogens are more widespread than previously thought and that the virus has evolved. had ample opportunities. .
Last month, an explosive study found that Chinese scientists created the virus in a lab in Wuhan, then tried to cover its tracks by reverse-engineering versions of the virus to make it look like it evolved naturally from bats. Has happened.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus has no “reliable natural ancestor” and was created by Chinese scientists, according to a report by British professor Angus Dalgish and Norwegian scientist working on the ‘Gain of Function’ project in the Wuhan lab. Was doing. Dr. Birger Sorensen.

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