HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urges WHO to launch new COVID probe

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday referred to as on the World Health Organization to launch a second investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic because the “lab leak” principle beneficial properties traction.

Becerra mentioned in a video message that the worldwide group should conduct a “transparent” probe after a widely panned initial WHO review managed by China, which mentioned the virus seemingly emerged naturally from animals.

“Phase 2 of the COVID origins study must be launched with terms of reference that are transparent, science-based and give international experts the independence to fully assess the source of the virus and the early days of the outbreak,” Becerra mentioned.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday mentioned in an emailed assertion he “was right” to pin the pandemic on China, which hid early knowledge on the outbreak.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra posted a video on Twitter urging the world Health Organization to again probe the origins of COVID-19.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra posted a video on Twitter urging the world Health Organization to once more probe the origins of COVID-19.
Twitter

“Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of COVID-19, sometimes referred to as the China Virus,” Trumps mentioned. “To me it was obvious from the beginning but I was badly criticized, as usual. Now they are all saying ‘He was right.’”

Trump didn’t particularly endorse the lab leak principle whereas he was in workplace, however he said that it was a possibility.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that three staff on the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell so ill that they have been hospitalized in November 2019 — simply earlier than the primary reported COVID-19 instances. The article cited “a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report.”

Researchers work in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, where many people believe COVID-19 may have originated.
Researchers work in a lab on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, the place many individuals imagine COVID-19 might have originated.
Chinatopix through AP, File

The Biden administration has been on the defensive about whether or not it’s doing sufficient to stress China’s authoritarian authorities to be clear.

Trump withdrew the US from the WHO final yr, arguing the group credulously accepted early Chinese knowledge on the virus failed to alert the world earlier than it unfold. Biden unconditionally rejoined the WHO this yr.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday mentioned the US has “no means” to verify that the lab employees bought sick in Wuhan, however that the US needs to discover out extra from China.

Members of WHO investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China on February 3, 2021.
Members of WHO investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China on February 3, 2021.
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP through Getty Images
The Wuhan Institute of Virology seen during WHO's visit on Feb. 3, 2021.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology seen throughout WHO’s go to on Feb. 3, 2021.
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP through Getty Images

“An international investigation led by the World Health Organization is something that we’ve actually been pressing for for several months, in coordination with a range of partners around the world. We need that data, we need that information from the Chinese government,” she mentioned.

The “lab release” principle has more and more gained acceptance as a believable clarification.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medial adviser and the US authorities’s high infectious illness skilled, mentioned this month that he’s “not convinced” the lethal virus developed naturally and referred to as for additional investigation.

This 2020 electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient.
This 2020 electron microscope picture reveals SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which trigger COVID-19, remoted from a affected person.
NIAID-RML through AP

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield mentioned in March that he believes the outbreak began on the Wuhan lab.

“I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory — you know, escaped. Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine,” Redfield said in a CNN interview. “Science will eventually figure it out. It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.”

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