China opposes the World Health Organization (WHO) plan to re-investigate the origin of the coronavirus outbreak. A research team, with virologist Marion Koopmans, went to the country this spring to conduct research in and around the metropolis of Wuhan, which is considered the cradle of the virus.
The team concluded that the virus probably moved from a bat to another animal and hence to humans, but there were still many unanswered questions.
The WHO mission got a lot of criticism. For example, China would not have given full openness and, for example, kept raw data behind. The researchers also spoke of political pressure. Danish research leader Peter Ben Embarek said that “of course no one wants the origin of an outbreak to be in his backyard”.
Therefore, the World Health Organization suggested to conduct follow-up research in China. That should also focus on markets and laboratories in the area where the virus was first detected at the end of 2019. The team with Koopmans doesnt find it very likely that the virus has spread from a laboratory like the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Yet the United States, among other things, take that scenario seriously. President Biden has urged his intelligence agencies to figure that out.
China has already called for not to “politicize” the investigation into the origin of the virus and countergas. A group of prominent Chinese experts stressed in Beijing that the theory that the virus comes from a laboratory is “completely impossible”.