Scientists criticize WHO handling of investigation on origin of COVID-19 virus

The following is a letter written by over a dozen scientists and published by Science last May 14, 2021.

In this letter, the authors raise questions about the findings of the joint World Health Organization (WHO)-China study on the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Though WHO report did not give clear support of whether the virus was accidentally released from the lab or a zoonotic spillover, the authors assert that the two theories were not given a balanced consideration. The authors decry the WHO’s position that zoonotic spillover was “likely to very likely” and the laboratory accident as “extremely unlikely”.

They said, “As scientists with relevant expertise, we agree with the WHO director-general, the United States and 13 other countries, and the European Union that greater clarity about the origins of this pandemic is necessary and feasible to achieve. We must take hypothesis about natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data. A proper investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, inclusive of broad expertise, subject to independent oversight and responsibly managed to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest. Public health agencies and research laboratories alike need to open their records to the public. Investigators should document the veracity and provenance of data from which analyses are conducted and conclusions drawn, so that analyses are reproducible by independent experts”.

Editor’s Note: This is the same letter that has prompted Politifact to rescind its earlier position that the lab accident theory is a conspiracy. We have to say, however, that no new data has come to light to support the laboratory spillover theory. The insistence of Politifact that it was “misinformation” was based solely on its own biases.

As for the letter above, we are thankful that these scientists have finally come forward to question the WHO’s findings. How did the WHO conduct its fact-finding mission and why did they end up with a neutral position, when most experienced scientists are already saying that the lab leak theory is a more plausible explanation than the natural infection theory? Is the WHO covering up China’s mistake?

More importantly, we are thankful that they have reiterated the use of good scientific practice that will enable us to come to the truth.

Their recommendations must be used in all aspects of understanding the COVID crisis, not only in the study of the origin of the virus. Scientific discourse must be allowed to flourish so the truth behind natural immunity and its capacity to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 can come to light. Studies about the various early treatment protocols must be allowed to find its way in mainstream and social media. Censorship about alternative options to vaccine, as well as the scrubbing of information about vaccine adverse effects must be stopped.

Governments must allow scientists and citizens access to the data so that independent experts can make their own analyses. This is the only way we can learn from this crisis so that it is never repeated again.

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