World Health Organization to Investigate Virus Origins

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According to the World Health Organization, 10 international scientists will go to the city of Wuhan in China next month to look into the origins of the Covid-19 virus.  The comes on the heels of many months of negotiations between the WHO and Beijing. 

Fabian Leendertz of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said, “It’s really not about finding a guilty country.  It’s about trying to understand what happened and then see if, based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”

Leendertz says the goal is more on trying to find out when, rather than where the virus began.  He also says the investigation is expected to last up to five weeks.

Experts now believe the virus was amplified in a “wet market” in Wuhan.  Last December, Li Wenliang, a doctor at the Wuhan Central Hospital, warned medics about the possibility of a new outbreak.  Dr. Wenliang passed away in February of the virus. 

Many countries outside of the US have been adamant that there needs to be a proper inquiry into the origins and the connection Wuhan has to the virus, and the WHO has been trying to gather information on the subject since July of this year.  The head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, said “challenge is great but the response has been massive” in reference to China’s sharing of their knowledge of the virus.  However, the US and other nations have raised concerns about that transparency. 

In April the office of US national intelligence said that the virus was not man-made or genetically modified.  Officials then were trying to understand whether the outbreak started with contact with animals or not.  Chinese media reports suggest Covid-19 came from outside of China.

For more updates be sure to check back with the ABN blog regularly.

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