The United States, along with 13 other countries, issued a statement Tuesday expressing “general concern” over a report released by the World Health Organization on the origin of covid-19.
The statement, posted on the State Department website, states that the report was delayed and did not include access to the full, original data and samples.
A report released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday said that while it was drawing conclusions based on data integrity, “the source of the virus could not be identified.” The group said they had difficulties when it came to accessing the original data during a visit to Wuhan.
The researchers were also forced to wait a few days before reaching final consent to enter Wuhan.
A statement from the United States said, “Such scientific missions should be allowed to operate in conditions that allow them to make independent and objective recommendations and findings.”
The declaration is signed by the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, South Korea and Slovenia.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhano Gebreius says more research and data is needed to determine if the virus occurred in humans through the food chain and in the wild, or through other animals, he said. Leakage is the least likely hypothesis, this issue needs to be investigated.
WHO team leader Peter Ben Embarek told reporters that it was “entirely possible” that Covid-19 would be distributed in Wuhan in November and October 2019, earlier than described.