On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden involved a renewed investigation into the virus’s emergence and ordered the agencies to “redouble their efforts” and report back to him again in 90 days.
With the cooperation of the Chinese government, it would be possible to trace the origins of Covid-19 and stop future pandemic threats, two leading U.S. disease experts said Sunday.
Information to support the idea that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, has increased, said Scott Gottlieb, a commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration within the Trump administration who now sits on the board of Pfizer Inc.
China hasn’t provided evidence to disprove that theory, while the look for signs that the virus emerged from wildlife hasn’t yielded results, Gottlieb said on CBS News’s “Face the state .”
Not knowing how the pandemic started puts the planet in danger of future outbreaks, Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, said during a separate TV appearance.
Almost a year and half after the new pathogen was first detected spreading during a seafood market in Wuhan, China, the precise origins of the virus remain obscure. Scientists have hypothesized that it presumably spread from wild animals to humans. the thought that the virus may have accidentally escaped from a search lab, long promoted by some Republicans, has gotten renewed attention from the Biden administration.
In a surprise statement on Wednesday, President Joe Biden involved a renewed investigation into the virus’s emergence. U.S. intelligence agencies had conflicting assessments of whether it had been more likely the virus crossed the species barrier from a natural reservoir or leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Biden said. He ordered the agencies to “redouble their efforts” and report back to him again in 90 days.
Debate over the virus’s origin was fueled anew by a Wall Street Journal report on May 23 that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospitalization for “symptoms according to both Covid-19 and customary seasonal illness.”
Scientists should conduct a long-term investigation in China and take blood samples from humans and animals, Hotez said.
Chinese officials have disputed the Wuhan lab theory. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Thursday dismissed Biden’s inquiry as an effort to interact in “stigmatization, political manipulation and blame-shifting.”
“As far as WHO cares , all hypotheses remain on the table,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a statement when the March report was released.