Tedros: ‘Premature’ to Dismiss Coronavirus Lab Leak

Tedros: ‘Premature’ to Dismiss Coronavirus Lab Leak

July 16, 2021

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), begged China on Thursday to cooperate with the second phase of the investigation into the origins of coronavirus, admitting that getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the W.H.O. team that traveled to China earlier this year.

Tedros told reporters that the U.N. health agency is “asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic.” He said there had been a “premature push” to rule out the theory the virus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan – undermining W.H.O.’s own March report, which concluded a laboratory leak was “extremely unlikely.”

China did not share data with the W.H.O. team during the first investigation, he added.

“W.H.O. has no powers or political heft to demand access to information critical for global health,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of a W.H.O. Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights. “All Tedros can do is use the bully pulpit, but it will fall on deaf ears.”

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