US, Britain seek WHO to take deeper look into coronavirus origins in China
The United States and the United Kingdom have asked the WHO to investigate the suspected origins of coronavirus in China, including a new visit to the site where the first human cases were discovered.
The United States and the United Kingdom are intensifying their efforts for the World Health Organization to investigate the suspected origins of COVID-19, including a fresh trip to China, where the first human illnesses were discovered. In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese specialists released a preliminary study outlining four possibilities regarding how the pandemic began. The most plausible hypothesis, according to the combined research, is that the coronavirus spread from bats to people via an intermediary species, and that it emerged from a laboratory is "very implausible." The US diplomatic office in Geneva released a statement late Thursday stating the first part of the investigation was "insufficient and inconclusive," and that a "timely, transparent, evidence-based, and expert-led Phase 2 research, including un the People's Republic of China," was needed. Independent specialists should have access to "full, original data and samples" related to the virus's source and early phases of the outbreak, according to the statement, which was issued in the middle of the WHO's annual session in Geneva. "We appreciate the WHO's expressed commitment to moving through with Phase 2 of the COVID-19 origins investigation," the statement read, adding that "we look forward to an update from Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus." The first phase research was "always designed to be the beginning of the process, not the finish," according to Simon Manley, the British ambassador in Geneva.