WHO teams investigating the origin of the pandemic need to have better access, officials and scientists say

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The next phase of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation into the causes of coronavirus pandemics must be more scientific and data-driven, a group of scientists wrote in an open letter to WHO on Friday.

China should not be allowed to reject team members selected for the next WHO-led investigation, and the team will be complete with relevant data such as medical records, biological samples, signatories, etc. Access should be granted. letter I have written.

This letter was written by a variety of international scientists and scholars and co-sponsored by WHO advisor and senior researcher at the Atlantic Council think tank, Jamie Metzl.

The WHO-led team released a report on the cause of the pandemic in March, but the team was denied access to important data. The WHO Executive Secretary, the White House, the US State Department, and 13 other countries have expressed concern that the WHO team’s reports are at stake.

The WHO team, who visited Wuhan in January to investigate the origin of COVID-19, identified only the “virus source of zoonotic diseases,” that is, animal-to-human transmission, by World Health Assembly resolution 73.1. I was tasked with it. Instead, the letter should give the purpose of investigating all possible causes of the pandemic, including those from lab leaks.

The WHO team was not given the mission of conducting research, but was given the mission of “encouraging scientific research, supporting design, and reviewing.” According to the letter, “this meant that conducting the investigation was beyond the scope of our joint mission, not to mention the institute’s court audit.”

According to the letter, the WHO team needs to be given a different purpose in the future. “To carry out a complete scientific and forensic study of all possible sources of COVID-19, whether or not it is a zoonotic disease.”

In addition, the team should be allowed to do its job “without the unnecessary presence of non-scientists in the host government,” the letter said.

NIH Director Francis Collins on Wednesday Hearing The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee said, “We need an investigation following the first WHO investigation.”

Officials from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of State, and six other federal agencies are also planning to make recommendations to WHO regarding the Wall Street Journal, a second study of the origin of COVID-19. report Tuesday.

“The United States [Wuhan] Laboratory staff, and international scientists, have been granted access to pre-2020 virus strains from laboratories and patients, “US officials told the journal. The United States also recommends more testing of animals and humans for early evidence of the new coronavirus, the journal reports.

The next phase of WHO’s investigation into the origin of the pandemic should require access to a major database of pathogens and samples, a public letter from scientists said.

“These databases are essential because they contain data about viruses that have not yet been published. Some of these viruses may be closely related to SARS-CoV-2. There is, “says the letter.

The WHO team must ensure access to the required raw data (related records, samples, project applications, project reports, personnel information, field trip information, related emails, lab notebooks, etc.) and is semi-aggregated. It’s not just data and summaries, “the letter says.

In many other recommendations, the letter states that “the first collaborative mandate gave the Chinese authorities an effective veto to join the international team, thereby jeopardizing its independence.” ..

Instead, scientists recommend that the process of selecting team members should be transparent and that China should not have veto power.

According to scientists, the team should include appropriate experts in the relevant field, not “conflict of interest experts”. Peter Daszak, the only US member of the first WHO team, works for the EcoHealth Alliance, which received a US grant to conduct research at the Wuhan Institute of Veterans Affairs, which is believed to be the cause of the pandemic.

Eleanor Bertow

From Daily Caller News Foundation

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