US, 13 Other Countries Say WHO Virus Origin Report Was Flawed

Skepticism over the veracity of the WHO report on coronavirus origin is increasing. According to a new report, the United States and 13 other countries have expressed doubts about the the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the origins of the coronavirus. The statement says the report on the on the origins of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was delayed and lacked access to complete data.

"It is equally essential that we voice our shared concerns that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples," the joint statement released on the website of the U.S. State Department said, according to Reuters.

Which Countries Signed Statement?

The statement was signed by the governments of Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

New Coronavirus variants from UK and South Africa Pixabay

China refused to provide raw data on early COVID-19 cases to the WHO-led team, one of the team's investigators has already said, potentially complicating efforts to understand how the global pandemic began.

The US-led statement followed WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's assertion that data was withheld from its investigators who traveled to China to research the origins of the pandemic.

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The countries' joint statement supported further studies of animals to find how the virus was introduced to humans, and called for a renewed commitment from WHO and member countries to access, transparency and timeliness.

Wuhan Institute of Virology, China
Wuhan Institute of Virology, China Twitter

"It is critical for independent experts to have full access to all pertinent human, animal, and environmental data, research, and personnel involved in the early stages of the outbreak relevant to determining how this pandemic emerged," the statement said.

Establishing such guidelines for investigations will help countries detect, prepare and respond to future outbreaks, it said.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has said 90 percent of adult Americans will be eligible to get Covid-19 vaccination in three weeks. Speaking at the White House on Monday, Biden said 90 per cent of adult Americans will be eligible to get vaccinated by April 19. The rest of them will be eligible by May 1.

Related topics : Coronavirus