Wuhan laboratory workers sought hospital care before the COVID-19 outbreak: WSJ

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Security guards monitor during the visit of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the causes of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, months before China announced the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing one not previously published US intelligence report.

The newspaper said the report – which includes new details about the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits – may still call for a fuller investigation into whether the COVID-19 virus could have escaped the lab could aggravate.

The report came on the eve of a World Health Organization decision-making body meeting to discuss the next phase of an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

A National Security Council spokeswoman did not comment on the journal’s report, but said the Biden government continued to have “serious questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins in the People’s Republic of China.”

She said the US government is working with WHO and other member states to support an expert-led assessment of the causes of the pandemic “that is free of interference or politicization”.

“We will not make any statements anticipating an ongoing WHO study on the source of SARS-CoV-2, but we were aware that sound and technically credible theories should be thoroughly evaluated by international experts,” she said.

The Journal said current and former officials familiar with the information about the laboratory researchers had a range of views about the strength of the report’s supportive evidence, with an undisclosed person saying that “further investigation and additional confirmation” is needed be.

The United States, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries in March raised concerns about the WHO-led COVID-19 origin study and requested further investigation and full access to all relevant human, animal and other data on the early stages of the disease Outbreak.

According to a source familiar with the effort, Washington is keen to ensure greater cooperation and transparency from China.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry found that a WHO-led team, after visiting the Virology Institute in February, concluded that a laboratory leak was extremely unlikely. “The US continues to exaggerate the laboratory leak theory,” the department responded to a request for comment from the journal. “Is it really about finding the source or diverting attention?”

The Trump administration suspected the virus could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, which Beijing denies.

A US State Department leaflet published towards the end of the Trump administration states: “The US government has reason to believe that several researchers within the WIV became ill with symptoms in the fall of 2019 prior to the first identified case of the outbreak with both COVID -19 and common seasonal illnesses matched. “It wasn’t said like many researchers.

According to one of the team’s investigators, Reuters reported in February, China refused to provide raw data on early COVID-19 cases to the WHO-led team in order to investigate the causes of the pandemic. This could make efforts to understand the beginning of the outbreak difficult.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the information contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. Therefore, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media is not responsible for any trading losses you may incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or any person involved with Fusion Media assumes no liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this website, such as data, offers, charts and buy / sell signals. Please inform yourself comprehensively about the risks and costs associated with trading in the financial markets. This is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.

Comments are closed.