WHO sticks with COVID-19 bat origin story
by Charissa Koh
Posted 3/29/21, 03:32 pm
The World Health Organization team that visited Wuhan, China, in January and February to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus is expected to release its report on Tuesday. In a draft obtained by the Associated Press, the researchers, including Chinese scientists, said it is “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a lab. The document describes four scenarios and labels transmission from bats through another animal as the most likely.
How reliable is the report? U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told CNN he was concerned about the team’s methodology, including Beijing’s involvement. Multiple delays held up the investigation and report, and some suspect Chinese officials were interfering with results. Last year, China repeatedly prevented researchers from accessing areas and data associated with COVID-19. The country rebuffed all suggestions that it mishandled the early stages of the pandemic.
Dig Deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings on the origins of COVID-19.
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Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @CharissaKoh.