Up to date (August 20) 2021. The Wall Street Journal published an article on the issue and says “This hypothesis (a leak of SARS-Cov-2 from Whaun laboratory) bears investigation, especially since no new information has emerged in the past 18 months to support the natural-origin theory. Meantime, a growing body of circumstantial evidence supports the lab-leak theory, including information reported by the U.S. State Department that employees of the Wuhan lab were becoming sick with Covid-like symptoms in the fall of 2019.” (WSJ, August 15, 2021), Read the full article HERE.
On June 18, we published an article about the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 had leaked from the Wuhan laboratory in China. Although this hypothesis had initially been excluded, new scientific evidence revealed that further investigation is needed in order to rule out whether the pandemic originated from a virus that arose naturally including the hypothesis of a leak from Whan laboratory (read HERE).
The obstacles faced by the UN to conduct their investigation and the Chinese government’s opposition to providing more information are well known. An urgent scientific investigation has been understood as a political intrusion by Communist Party rulers and has paralyzed UN initiatives until now.
Vist is different to audit
At the moment we were publishing we read an article of Reuters reporting that “The World Health Organization proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.” Relevant news because the previous mission could neither audit laboratories (Whan) or markets. The reaction of Communist Party rulers has immediately reported that the current new mission is a political, not a scientific initiative denying collaboration with this new mission. Read Reuters article untitled WHO proposes fresh coronavirus mission to China and lab audits (7/16/2021).
SARS-CoV-2 origin remains unknown and uninvestigated until now!
At the end of last month, a new initiative from France was published by the Washington Post (July 6, 2021), French newspaper Le Figaro and other worldwide media. In an open letter addressed to World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 31 renowned scientists from different countries (including our own Dr. have called for an inquiry into the origins of the virus that causes Covid-19, “so that we can avoid it happening again”. We excerpt from it what, in our opinion, has more bioethical interest.
“The leader of UN’s independent expert committee, Peter Ben Embarek, has also repeatedly explained that the joint study process was neither an investigation nor designed to be one.”
The article begins by highlighting the importance of a new effective investigation, saying that “ the families of the many millions who have died from COVID-19 ‘deserve knowing what the origin of this virus is, so we can prevent it from happening again”.
Read related news HERE.
The new point of view of the letter is important and states that:
- “Although the WHO-convened joint-study has been called by many a ‘WHO investigation,’ it was neither led by the WHO nor intended to be an investigation […] The leader of this independent expert committee, Peter Ben Embarek, has also repeatedly explained that the joint study process was neither an investigation nor designed to be one.”
- “Because failing to comprehensively investigate pandemic origins puts everyone and future
generations at unnecessary risk, we call on world leaders to adopt a two-track approach for
ensuring the fullest possible investigation of pandemic origins.”[our emphasis]
The scientists then go on to explain the two-track approaches proposed,
- The first track is to invite China to fully cooperate with an improved WHO-convened
an investigation that is data-driven, independent, and meets essential conditions for a credible process. They continue to explain the more basic technical conditions for obtaining credible investigation results.
- The second is “An investigation carried out without the assistance of Chinese authorities”. The letter details the relevant information that could be obtained without Chinese collaboration with guarantees of being a full comprehensive investigation into pandemic origins (read the full letter HERE).
Our Observatory considers that the Chinese ruling party’s unethical attitude, blocking the investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2, highlights the urgency of an investigation without the support of the Chinese government. This proposal seems more realistic. Moreover, from a bioethical perspective, it is encouraging that the investigation can be done even without the support of China, given the importance of knowing the origins of the pandemic and the identity of “patient 0”. This will help to enhance current research and to avoid possible new viruses with unique and devastating characteristics similar to those of COVID-19.