US, China oppose COVID-19 investigation

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is being perpetuated by a scandalous inequity in vaccine distribution

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is being perpetuated by a scandalous inequity in vaccine distribution

Information about a potential connection to the lab began leaking to some in the media early past year - including Fox News's John Roberts, who in April asked Trump about a theory that the virus began with an intern who was infected and subsequently spread the infection to Wuhan's wet market.

"Now everybody is agreeing that I was right when I very early on called Wuhan as the source of Covid-19", he said on Tuesday. The WHO report's annex contains multiple data points providing an intriguing insight into China's evolving knowledge of the virus and the likely timing of its emergence.

Some scientists quickly criticized the report, which was promoted by China, but WHO Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus admitted that it was not widespread enough.

The theory was again catapulted into the spotlight earlier this week when a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) exclusive report claimed three employees from the laboratory were hospitalised with a seasonal illness in November 2019, citing a United States intelligence report. We're talking about a lab accident.

Even the nation's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci admitted that he was "not convinced" that the virus is naturally occurring. Does it really care about the origin-tracing of the virus or just want to divert attention?

In his address to the World Health Assembly, Becerra noted that the COVID-19 pandemic "not only stole a year from our lives, it stole millions of lives".

"Now we must honour our departed by taking urgent action this year - to strengthen health security and pandemic preparedness so that we are better prepared for the next global health crisis", he said.

As member states of the WHO, "we need to come together and finish this fight against COVID, our greatest test", he said, adding that all must fully implement and adhere to obligations under the International Health Regulations.

Moderna says its Covid vaccine is safe and effective in children
The US had started procuring vaccines right from their trial stages and today, it has enough doses for each of its citizens. The vaccination campaign now relies on Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.

"We need to understand this from the ground up, and we need a completely transparent process from China", said Andy Slavit, senior COVID adviser to the White House. Beijing has been accused of delaying access to global investigators for several months after its first outbreak, effectively guaranteeing that the lab was thoroughly cleaned before conducting forensic analysis.

Australia was among a raft of World Health Organization member states who this week called for a more in-depth investigation into the virus's source.

A long-delayed report by a team of experts sent by World Health Organization to Wuhan and its Chinese responders did not draw firm conclusions about the origin of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director said the circumstantial evidence for Covid-19 at the Wuhan Institute of Veterinary Medicine has not yet proved that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans.

On Tuesday, Trump sought to take credit in a statement to the New York Post newspaper.

Beijing dismissed the Journal report as "totally untrue".

"Until we have enough data, we need to make serious hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers", a group of researchers from top USA universities published in Science in mid-May. "Now they are all saying: 'He was right'".

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