Joe Biden Administration Expresses ‘Deep Concerns’ Over WHO’s China Coronavirus Investigation
Joe Biden’s White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed concern on Saturday over the World Health Organization’s recent report about the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in China, The Daily Caller reported.
“We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them,” he said in a White House statement.
“It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government.”
Sullivan urged all countries to commit to a transparent process for responding to and preventing health emergencies.
Per the National Post, the four-week WHO investigation notably concluded it was highly unlikely the virus escaped from a laboratory.
“A laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population and therefore is not a hypothesis that would suggest future studies into our future work into understanding the origin of the virus,” Peter Embarek, the leader of the WHO delegation to Wuhan, said.
According to Embarek, the three possible coronavirus origins being looked into are food transported to Wuhan, animal infection via bats that jumped to humans, and transmission from bats to humans.
The findings conflict with the claims of former President Donald Trump’s administration, which stated the coronavirus might have escaped from a laboratory in China. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger claimed the most likely source of the COVID-19 virus was a leak from a Chinese research lab. In particular, he suggested there was an increasing amount of evidence to support the theory that the virus spread from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In addition, unnamed WHO investigators told The Wall Street Journal that China refused to give the organization raw data from the early coronavirus cases. Thea Fischer, a Danish epidemiologist among the WHO investigators, said raw data is required to make a more in-depth analysis of the pandemic.
According to Sullivan, China must release data from the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak to help the global understanding of the current pandemic and aid preparation for any additional outbreaks.
Conversely, Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who wasn’t part of the WHO team, suggested everyone should assume that all parties are acting in “good faith.”
“You don’t want to close future access to information that might be critical.”