Ex-US Intelligence Head: WHO Report on COVID-19 Origin 'Disingenuous'

Dr Tedros says the WHO is getting closer to understanding the COVID-19 virus

W.H.O. investigators also said Chinese officials waited far too long - over a year, to be exact - before conducting antibody tests on a group of about 90 hospital patients in central China who reported symptoms similar to the Chinese coronavirus before the outbreak officially began in Wuhan.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the number of reported cases of globally has declined for the fourth week in a row, and the number of deaths also fell for the second consecutive week.

Tedros said members of a World Health Organization expert mission who recently visited China to investigate the possible source of the outbreak would publish a summary of their findings next week. "We haven't looked at the data specifically ourselves, so we'd like to do that", Psaki said.

Peter Daszak and Thea Fischer, members of the World Health Organization team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease, sit in a auto at Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, Feb. 2, 2021.

He said World Health Organization released a case reporting form that would allow more data to be collected on long COVID in a standardised way.

He said, "Today, I am inviting everyone to join me in the call to share technology so we can produce vaccines for the world and share them equitably".

Beijing has repeatedly floated the theory that the virus was brought to China through packaging on cold chain products like imported frozen seafood, linking these to recent domestic outbreaks. "So then, you know, the interpretation of that data becomes more limited from our point of view, although the other side might see it as being quite good".

When pressed on why the mission did not believe a lab could have been the source, Peter Ben Embarek, the mission's head, told Friday's briefing that scientists from labs in Wuhan had told his team they didn't have it.

The WHO chief pointed out again that this mission would not find all the answers, but it has provided important information that "takes people closer to understanding the origins of the virus".

The administration of former U.S. president Donald Trump said it believed the virus may have escaped from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

He said the laboratory theory was "not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies".

However, she conceded that experts "should really go and search for evidence of earlier circulation".

The origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, are highly politicized, with China pushing the idea that the virus has roots outside its borders.

Worldwide experts investigating the origins of Covid-19 have all but dismissed a theory that the virus came from a laboratory in China.

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