In a press conference on Thursday, Senior World Health Organization (W.H.O.) leaders, including Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, once again complained that the Chinese Communist Party was withholding critical data that could help the agency understand the origin of the coronavirus.
“Without full access to the information that China has, you cannot say this or that – all hypotheses are on the table,” Tedros told reporters in response to questions about the progress the W.H.O. has made, or not made, regarding finding how the coronavirus pandemic began.
The W.H.O.’s technical lead on Wuhan coronavirus, Maria van Kerkhove, was more forceful, expressing frustration that Chinese officials have refused to hand over information on the animals available for sale at the Huanan “wet market” in Wuhan, considered a potential origin source for the pandemic. Van Kerkove described the crowded, potentially unsanitary market as at least a potentially “amplifying event” where the virus, already present in the city, spread, but lamented that the W.H.O. could not dismiss the market, or the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), as a source of the virus because it lacked too much data.
“Further information that we need and we have been requesting for years now is where did those animals come?” Van Kerkhove asked. “From where were they farmed? How did they enter into the market? Was this wild animals, domestic animals? How are they traded? Where do they come from?”
The official stance of the Chinese government currently is that the pandemic began in Maryland as a result of a U.S. Army laboratory accident – a theory Beijing has presented no evidence to support. China most recently demanded the W.H.O. launch an investigation into America as the origin nation of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Tedros has largely ignored China’s requests and demanded that the Communist Party’s public health and science organs hand over critical pandemic data on Thursday. Tedros asserted that China’s cooperation was necessary because the world needs to know the origin of the virus “beyond reasonable doubt.”