World Health Organization (WHO) officials pushed back Monday against claims that China is not being transparent with a United Nations-led (UN) investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).
WHO’s coronavirus technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove told the AP the team has experts from 10 countries and intends to visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other sites of interest during their time in China.
“We need to give them the space to be able to carry out this scientific study,” Van Kerkhove told AP, responding to suggestions that China has obscured the circumstances of the original coronavirus outbreak. (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says He’s Honored For US To Rejoin World Health Organization)
The WHO has been soliciting any information regarding the pandemic’s origins, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program Dr. Michael Ryan told the AP. However, at a Jan. 22 press conference, Ryan expressed doubt over whether COVID-19 originated from China.
“I think we have to say this quite plainly; all hypotheses are on the table and it is definitely too early to come to a conclusion of exactly where this virus started either within or without China,” Ryan said. WHO Secretary Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was in attendance.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
In June, Republicans of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the WHO “enabled” China to cover up the outbreak of COVID-19.