U.S. officers say China hasn’t been ‘fully clear’ in Covid probe

During the visit of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the causes of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on February 3, 2021, security guards will be on guard in front of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

White House officials told reporters Tuesday that China has not been “fully transparent” in its global investigation into China’s origins Covid-19and that a full study is needed to determine if the virus that has killed nearly 3.5 million people came from nature or a laboratory.

“We have to get to the bottom of whatever the answer,” Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to Covid-19 at the White House, told reporters at a briefing in Covid on Tuesday. “We need a completely transparent process from China, we need that [World Health Organization] to help on this matter, and we don’t feel like we have it now. “

The theory that Covid-19 escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory by most medical experts and health officials, but credible scientists continue to question the true origin of the disease.

Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the causes of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic leave the Jade Hotel on a bus after completing their quarantine in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei Province, on Jan. 28, 2021.

HECTOR RETAMAL | AFP | Getty Images

A previously unpublished US intelligence report found that researchers at the institute in Wuhan, where the outbreak began in late 2019, were seeking hospital care for an illness “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses.” . The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, quoted from the report.

While it is more likely that the coronavirus jumped from animal to human, “we don’t know 100% the answer to that,” said White House chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, reporters at the same briefing on Tuesday. “We absolutely need to conduct an investigation.”

Last week director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky confirmed that there is “a possibility” that Covid-19 leaked from a laboratory.

Peter Ben Embarek and Marion Koopmans (R) come to a press conference on February 9, 2021 to conclude a visit by an international team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to the city of Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hefei.

HECTOR RETAMAL | AFP | Getty Images

WHO has said the virus likely came from an animal host, but the agency hasn’t ruled out that it leaked from a laboratory.

“Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been rejected,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “I want to make it clear that all hypotheses remain open and require further investigation.”