The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 30 released its report into the origins of the coronavirus,
The 14 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia and Israel said in a statement that they “fully” supported the WHO’s efforts to bring an end to the pandemic, including understanding how it “started and spread”.
But they added it was “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”.
Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia and the United Kingdom also co-signed statement.
Separately on Tuesday,WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also demanded further research to reach “more robust conclusions”.
“I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough,” he said during a news briefing on Tuesday. “Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy,” Tedros added.
China’s foreign ministry hit back at the perceived criticism from the WHO chief, saying that Beijing had fully demonstrated “its openness, transparency and responsible attitude”.
“To politicise this issue will only severely hinder global cooperation in study of origins, jeopardize anti-pandemic cooperation, and cost more lives,” the ministry said in a statement. Meanwhile, a senior Chinese health official said there was no factual basis to accusations against China.
Reference: World Affairs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZX8aLvOVkE . Other References: nature.com, US department of states, Global Times, France 24.
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