The world needs the cooperation of the Chinese regime to trace the origins of the COVID-19 and prevent future pandemic threats, two leading disease experts from USA said Sunday.
There has been an increase in information supporting the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, said Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration of the administration Trump, who is now part of the board of Pfizer.
China has provided no evidence to disprove that theory, while searching for signs that the virus emerged from the wild has yielded no results, said Gottlieb on “Face the Nation” from CBS News.
Not knowing how the pandemic started puts the world at risk of future outbreaks, said Peter Hotez, co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, in a separate television appearance.
“There will be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19“, said Hotez on “Meet the press” from NBC.
Almost a year and a half after the disease was first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, the Precise origins of the virus remain obscure.
Scientists have hypothesized that it is most likely transmitted from wild animals to humans. The idea that the virus has accidentally escaped from a research lab, long promoted by some Republicans, has received renewed attention from the Biden administration.
In a surprise statement last Wednesday, the president Joe Biden called for a new investigation into the emergence of the virus.
The US intelligence agencies had conflicting assessments on whether the virus was more likely to cross the species barrier from a natural reservoir or leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Biden ordered the agencies to “redouble your efforts”and get back to him in 90 days.
The debate about the origin of the virus was fueled again by a report from the newspaper The Wall Street Journal on May 23, when three investigators from the China Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care for “symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses”.
The Chinese regime hid from the beginning what had happened at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and focused the investigation on what happened in a food market in that populous city in the province of Hubei.
Scientists should be allowed to conduct long-term research on China and take blood samples from humans and animals, said Hotez.
USA should pressure China, even with the threat of sanctions, to allow an investigation. “We need a team of scientists, epidemiologists, virologists, bat ecologists in Hubei province for a period of six months and one year“, said Hotez.
Chinese officials have questioned the laboratory theory of Wuhan. The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, on Thursday dismissed the investigation of Biden as an attempt to participate in “stigmatization, political manipulation and blame shifting”.
A report from the World Health Organization published in March did not fully discover the origin of the virus, but called a laboratory leak unlikely.
The world health body called for more research at the time. “With regard to WHO, all hypotheses remain on the table,” said the CEO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement when the March report was released.
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