The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief believes the coronavirus variant that killed nearly two million people across the world over the last two years leaked from the virology lab in China's Wuhan. The explosive report by the Mail on Sunday says the Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, privately told a European politician that he believes the virus escaped from the China lab.
Shielding Beijing All Along
Interestingly, Tedros had bent over backwards to please China in the initial months of the catastrophic outbreak, drawing wrath in the US and Europe. He was instrumental in shielding Beijing from the accusations from around the world over the role of the secretive virology laboratory in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covd-19 outbreak.
The latest report casts more taint on the reputation of the world health body whose vast appetite to please China probably dented the global efforts to understand and contain the virus.
Even now, WHO has publicly holds an equivocal, if also questionable, line that "all hypotheses remain on the table" with regards to the origin of the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Neither China, nor the WHO has been able to clearly explain the mystery behind the virus breaking out from a city where a secretive Institute of Virology is situated. WHO supported the Chinese theory that the virus took origins in a wet market in Wuhan, but the theory was riddled with obvious logical deficit.
Western Intelligence on Lab Leak
Western intelligence had gathered evidence that showed the Wuhan lab was the origin of the disastrous virus leak, but Beijing had consistently rubbished it as a conspiracy theory. WHO never bothered to force China to undergo an honest auditing of the events that ran up to the outbreak, though it theoretically had the powers to do so.
Instead, the notorious fact-finding mission conducted by the world health body came back with a deplorable endorsement of the Chinese line. In February 2021, a joint WHO-China mission that conducted studies in Wuhan came to the conclusion the lab leak theory was "very unlikely". The WHO under Tedros even went as far as to say that this angle did not warrant further.
WHO 2021 Panel Absolves China
Immediately after that disastrous WHO mission that whitewashed China, reports emerged that China denied the independent WHO team access to crucial information. The WHO team had numerous disagreements with the Chinese official s and did not get patient records and other crucial pieces of information.
Thea KÃ¸lsen Fischer, a Danish epidemiologist on the team, said: "It was my take on the entire mission that it was highly geopolitical. Everybody knows how much pressure there is on China to be open to an investigation and also how much blame there might be associated with this."
WHO's China mission was totally under the control of the Chinese authorities, though it was labelled an independent commission. The team was forced to quarantine for the first two weeks after reaching China and meetings were conducted on Zoom. The team could not gather with their counterparts for meals or informal talks, reports had said.