Wuhan lab staff 'sought hospital care before Covid outbreak disclosed'

'Not convinced' Covid-19 developed naturally, says Dr Fauci

China, on the other hand, has repeatedly dismissed the lab-leak theories.

"The Covid-19 pandemic not only stole a year from our lives, it stole millions of lives", Mr Becerra said in an address to the World Health Assembly, a conference organised by the WHO.

She said China revealed the researchers tested negative for the virus and the evidence did not point to a lab leak.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and US President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, has maintained he believes the virus was passed from animals to humans, though he conceded this month he was no longer confident Covid-19 had developed naturally. "We need data. We need an independent investigation".

The first cases of what would eventually be known as Covid-19 were reported at the end of December 2019 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the advanced laboratory specialising in coronavirus research is located.

During that same CNN program, Fauci said of China, "they have not been transparent in the past".

In their own report on the origins of COVID-19 issued last week, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee asserted that there was "significant circumstantial evidence" suggesting COVID-19 "may have been a leak" from the Wuhan lab.

An in-depth study conducted by the World Health Organization with the Chinese government, published in March, explored different possible origins of the disease and concluded that while it was not yet provable how the disease evolved, it was likely it was transferred to humans either directly from bats, or more likely from an intermediate species that got it from bats and then passed it along to humans.

"People a year ago who said this probably came from nature, it's really unlikely it came from a lab, maybe a year ago that kind of a statement made a lot of sense, because that was the more likely scenario", he said on Squawk Box.

While the World Health Organization and countries worldwide agree further investigation is needed, there is disagreement over what the next phase of inquiry should entail and where it should take place.

Closed doors have also helped conspiracy theories grow. Tom Cotton, who has pushed the idea that the virus was created intentionally as a bioweapon. "This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli's public claim that there was "zero infection" among the WIV's staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses", the fact sheet said.

While Chinese authorities have stayed unwilling to allow such an open investigation, Offit said the world needs it in order to guard against another pandemic. The first was SARS 1, the second was MERS.

"But we don't know 100 percent the answer to that".

"Look, I do think it's important to remember that part of the issue back when this was first being reported on and discussed back ... when the pandemic had begun, then-President Trump and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, both suggested they had seen evidence this was formed in a lab, and they also suggested it was not released on goal, but they refused to release the evidence showing what it was", Haberman said on CNN on Tuesday. The virus first appeared in Wuhan and then spread worldwide. "That delayed things. It didn't give us the chance to act as quickly as we needed to act and I think they are culpable on that one".



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