It’s been a year since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and we still don’t know most of the particulars about its origin. In fact, thanks to the intransigence of the Chinese government, we’ve barely started.
A group of experts from the WHO has been given that task been has been hamstrung by China, whose lack of cooperation into finding where and how Covid-19 began has set back the investigation months. The group released a report last week that no one accepted and that many believe deliberately downplayed and dismissed the lab-leak theory.
A group of 20 scientists wrote an open letter asking for an independent and credible investigation into the origins of the virus “with China’s cooperation if possible but without it if not.” This didn’t sit well with the Chinese foreign ministry.
“These signatories can deceive no one,” said Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.
Lijian also called out one of the group’s organizers, former National Security Council official Jamie Metzel, by name.
“It’s really unfortunate that rather than addressing the very serious concerns raised in our open letter, the Chinese foreign ministry has decided to attack our group of experts who are only raising basic questions about the origins of COVID-19 and to attack me personally,” Metzel told Fox News.
That’s SOP for the Chinese Communists: admit nothing and blame someone else.
The scientists believe there was no justification for dismissing the lab-leak theory.
“No solid justification is provided for why a ‘lab-related accident’ … should be considered ‘extremely unlikely,’” according to the scientists’ letter. “It is at best unclear whether the Chinese joint study team members had the leeway to express their fair evaluation of all hypotheses in the presence of Chinese government minders.”
That’s only the beginning of the scientists’ frustration with the entire investigation.
The joint study team saw its priority as seeking a zoonotic origin, not as fully examining all possible sources of the pandemic. Its Terms of Reference did not mention any possible lab-pathway and on the contrary explicitly stated a strict zoonosis origin from the very start (“identify the zoonotic source of the virus”).
This is significant because the team’s mission parameters came from WHO leadership. They knew what the Chinese wanted — an animal origin of the virus — and obliged.
The published data supporting the mission report mostly present reviews of Chinese studies that have not been published, shared with, or reviewed by the international scientific community.
More propaganda from the Chinese Communists.
Well over a year after the initial outbreak, critical records and biological samples that could provide essential insights into pandemic origins remain inaccessible. This withholding of key resources that could and should have been made available undermined the credibility of the joint study team work.
The joint study team used different evidentiary standards for the four origin theories it considered. No solid justification is provided for why a ‘lab-related accident’ (whether a lab-leak or sampling accident) should be considered ‘extremely unlikely’, or why a natural spillover via an unknown animal host should be considered ‘likely to very likely’. At this stage there is still no direct evidence for either pathway nor any verified data or evidence sufficient to rule any one out, while historical evidence amply supports both.
No doubt these scientists will be called to account for their “anti-Asian hate” after they dare criticize China over its non-cooperation.
Getting to the bottom of this mystery is vital. Finding the origin could help in the development of treatments for seriously ill patients. It could also help in the development of second-generation vaccines. The bottom line is, fewer people would sicken and die from getting Covid if we knew where it came from and how it made the leap from an animal (or a lab) to humans.