China Forced WHO Team to Say Lab Leak ‘Extremely Unlikely'
A top W.H.O. official said his team was pressured to report that it was ‘extremely unlikely’ that a Chinese lab leak caused the COVID pandemic.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — A shocking TV interview with a top W.H.O. official indicates that Chinese officials put immense pressure on W.H.O. investigators to stay away from the hypothesis that a lab leak could have been the cause of the COVID pandemic.
The official said the W.H.O. team was eventually forced to report that the hypothesis was “extremely unlikely.” Here are the details:
The leader of the W.H.O. mission which reported that a Chinese lab leak was “extremely unlikely” to be the origin of the COVID pandemic told a Danish TV station the words “extremely unlikely” were only used because of intense pressure by the team’s Chinese members.
On Thursday, August 12, Denmark’s TV 2 published Danish-language excerpts from the interview, conducted for a documentary titled “The Virus Mystery,” on its website, in which Danish scientist Peter Embarek spoke about how Chinese team members refused to discuss the hypothesis that the pandemic could have been the result of human error in a Chinese government lab.
Embarek said horseshoe bats are not found in the wild in the Wuhan region, which points to the fact that “patient zero” could very well have been a lab worker.
Another point of concern that Embarek said needs to be investigated, is the fact that a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab moved to a new building only 500 meters from the market that was the epicenter of the pandemic in December of 2019.
He said the lab moved on December 2, 2019.
Embarek told TV 2 such a move would involve the moving of virus samples and bats outside of secure rooms, which would have significantly increased the dangers of a lab leak.
Embarek said his team did not get to look at laboratory books or documents directly from the laboratory.
“We got a presentation,” he said, “and then we asked the questions we wanted to ask, but we did not get to look at any documentation at all.”
He added that while the W.H.O.’s initial investigation was purely scientific, what is needed is a forensic-style investigation where books, logs and records are checked and employees are interviewed separately.
On July 16, the W.H.O. proposed to conduct such in-depth audits of the relevant laboratories in Wuhan.
But at that time China's deputy health minister, Zeng Yixin, flatly rejected a new W.H.O. visit.
However, when asked for comment by the Washington Post, Embarek said the interview had been mistranslated in English-language media.
He would not comment further and has since declined a follow up interview with the Washington Post and could not be reached for comment by Reuters.
You can read the interview in the link in the description below.
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