New leaks from the W.H.O. team that traveled to China to uncover the real origins of COVID-19 raise more suspicion around their Chinese counterparts who denied them access to early data from the outbreak.
The journey to uncover the truth behind the origins of COVID-19 is far from over. Last week, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) announced that they have concluded their few weeks of investigations into whether the coronavirus that claimed the lives of millions throughout 2020 indeed began because of an accident in a Wuhan virology laboratory. Chinese authorities have been known to closely follow the W.H.O. investigations and new reports have emerged that they have in fact withheld crucial COVID information from the W.H.O. investigators.
While the W.H.O. did absolve China's Wuhan virology laboratory from causing the pandemic, many are still in doubt, especially when Chinese authorities had apparently carried out their own investigations and handed over reports to their W.H.O. counterparts instead of letting them conduct a more hands-on investigation. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese authorities "refused" to provide W.H.O. investigators with "raw, personalized data on early COVID-19 cases" and even "turned down requests to provide such data on 174 cases of COVID-19" gathered from the first Wuhan outbreak in December 2019.
Vital information is needed to get a better understanding of a new coronavirus, especially one that at the time, the world did not have a cure for yet. The information gathered from these investigations is key in developing such a vaccine. However, Chinese authorities withheld such information and according to Breitbart, even delayed antibody testing on patients in Central China who were experiencing similar symptoms to COVID-19 way before the Wuhan outbreak occurred. The delays in testing made it difficult to determine if they were indeed infected with the coronavirus or were just experiencing respiratory ailments.
As Chinese authorities withheld crucial COVID information, it's difficult to understand the reasons behind their actions, especially when they admitted to destroying early evidence of the virus, as per a Breitbart report.
The dismal results of the W.H.O. investigations have dissatisfied not only Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who still stands by his belief that it came from a Wuhan lab, but other scientists as well. Forbes reported that Nicholas Thomas, a professor in global health governance at the City University of Hong Kong, claimed that the troublesome investigation "suffered from fundamental problems imposed by China."
Thomas said that these delays have caused the truth to "always be obscured" and that "we will probably never know the full story." Nonetheless, the U.S. is determined to get to the bottom of it all, with or without the help of W.H.O.
While the Chinese authorities may have withheld crucial COVID information, the U.S. may be looking into uncovering the truth without the help of W.H.O. The White House, through press secretary Jen Psaki, already announced that they wanted to take a closer look at the data gathered from the W.H.O. investigation and has requested "full transparency and access" from China and W.H.O.
It is yet unclear if the U.S. will later launch its own formal independent investigation.