WHO head admits coronavirus leak from laboratory

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, believes that a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 leak from a Chinese laboratory was prematurely ruled out. The Associated Press reported this on Thursday, July 15.

“I was a lab technician myself, I’m an immunologist, I worked in the lab, incidents in the lab can happen. It’s common,” the agency quoted Gebreyesus as saying.

Thus, according to journalists, he questioned the WHO report in which experts concluded that a virus leak from the laboratory was “highly unlikely.

Gebreyesus drew attention to the fact that an international team of experts, which had previously visited China to investigate the sources of COVID-19, encountered difficulties in gaining access to primary data on the spread of the virus.

As such, he urged China to be “transparent” and cooperate on the issue of primary data requested by the WHO early in the pandemic.

“If we get complete information, we can eliminate the link to the laboratory,” the WHO chief stressed.

WHO published a report following a trip to China to study COVID-19 in late March. It was noted that the experts could not come to a definite conclusion.

According to the final document, transmission between animals and then humans is considered most likely, with laboratory occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 being the least likely. At that time, the researchers did not recommend studying the hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2 leakage from the laboratory.

The hypothesis of artificial origin of the coronavirus was repeatedly promoted in the United States. On May 23, The Wall Street Journal noted that the Wuhan Institute of Virology staff illness in November 2019 may suggest that the theory of artificial origin of the coronavirus is true.

Meanwhile, on May 20, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee reported “circumstantial evidence” of information that a new type of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Beijing has repeatedly denied the allegations, calling such a theory slander and conspiracy.