News & Politics

Running Out of Time: Researchers Say It May Soon Be 'Biologically Impossible' to Determine COVID-19 Origins

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

A classified report on the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus ordered by Joe Biden three months ago was delivered to the White House yesterday. Investigators say they are unable to determine the origin of the virus, whether it jumped from an animal to humans, or whether it escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.

The report was disappointing, as it failed in its primary objective—getting to the bottom of the mystery of the origin—and researchers warn that time is running out to find answers.

Washington Post:

The review involved dozens of analysts and intelligence officials across multiple agencies, Haines told Yahoo. She said she deployed “red cells,” or groups to test analysts’ assumptions and ensure the intelligence is scrutinized from every angle.

Another official said the intelligence community is “not necessarily best equipped to solve this problem,” which is fundamentally an issue of science. Although spy services are “positioned to collect on a range of foreign actors,” the official said, they are not necessarily poised to dive into global health data sets.

But what happens if the science is deliberately hidden or falsified behind a veil of secrecy established by the Communist Chinese government? That’s what the world’s leading scientists and researchers are trying to cope with.

The Communist government’s rationale is based on the notion of infallibility. The party can do no wrong. And when everything is done in service to the party, it doesn’t matter if stonewalling researchers deny them lifesaving information. As long as the ends of the party are served, anything is justifiable.

Members of the World Health Organization team who investigated the origins of the coronavirus earlier this year are worried that it will soon become “biologically impossible” to determine where the SARS-CoV-2 came from. This would be critical in discovering new treatments and drugs that could save lives.

Wall Street Journal:

The authors of the commentary were all members of a WHO-led international team that worked jointly with Chinese scientists to probe the origins of the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2, which has caused more than 4.4 million deaths around the world.

The new studies are supposed to be part of a second phase of research that the team recommended in a report published in March, after the team’s month-long trip to China. Since then, team members have repeatedly urged that the studies be undertaken quickly.

It’s important to remember that the scientists are dealing with the WHO and the UN bureaucracy.

China rejected a WHO proposal in July for a second phase of research that included a probe of the lab-leak hypothesis, and put forward its own proposal to seek evidence of the virus’s origins in other countries.

The commentary authors said they were concerned now that additional delays might result if the inquiry is turned over to a new advisory group that the WHO is forming to investigate the origins of new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. “Applying this new process to the continuing SARS-CoV-2 origins mission runs the risk of adding several months of delay,” they wrote.

China will likely wait until it becomes “biologically impossible” to discover the origins of the virus before allowing further research at Wuhan and other labs where the coronavirus may have originated.

Or perhaps we’ll just have to wait until hell freezes over. That would suit the Chinese government just fine.