Reporters will only have 30 minutes to review the long-awaited 123-page report on the origins of the Wuhan virus before the World Health Organization (WHO) takes questions today.
“Media are invited to attend a virtual press conference where the international experts will discuss the report and answer questions,” the WHO stated in a press release Monday. “A link to the report will be available and sent to global media half an hour before the press briefing.” The briefing will be held at 10 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.
According to the Associated Press, which obtained a draft copy of the report from a Geneva-based diplomat, the WHO’s report is expected to conclude it is “highly unlikely” COVID-19 accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the organization at the center of the lab leak theory.
Members of the WHO panel of investigators have already said they don’t believe the virus originated in an animal lab. After the WHO delegation’s trip to China, investigator Marion Koopmans from the Netherlands said she and the other members of her team “concluded that it’s extremely unlikely there was a lab incident.” Peter Daszak, the only U.S. member of the WHO delegation, has consistently denied the possibility of a lab leak, even before he left for China.
The Chinese government’s interference with the World Health Organization’s probe into the virus’ origins and China’s extreme lack of transparency have cast doubt on the validity of the soon-released report’s findings. Due to the Chinese government’s secrecy, even the Biden White House said it could not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 having leaked from the Wuhan Animal Lab.
The Chinese government demanded strict control over all research into the pandemic’s origins. The WHO gave China veto power over the members of its panel of investigators. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced on March 19 that Chinese experts had received the English version of the WHO report two days prior and said its release “depends on discussions between Chinese & international experts.”
The “investigators” almost seem hand-selected by the Chinese government, given leading panelists have connections to the Wuhan animal lab and have received research funding from China.
Koopmans’ dangerous animal lab experiments and the substantial funding she has received from China for her research suggest she has a stake in pleasing the Chinese government by denying the lab leak theory. Koopmans was directly involved in animal experiments funded by tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and the Chinese government at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Koopmans’ experiments involve supercharging swine flu to make it deadlier and more contagious, infecting ferrets, mice, and guinea pigs with the new virus strains.
“If the Wuhan institute were found to be the source of covid, it could threaten the credibility and funding of virology labs such as Koopmans’s,” said David Feith, the former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in a Washington Post column.
The WSJ editorial board wrote, “If an investigation finds it likely that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by gain-of-function research, that would have repercussions for labs around the world, including at Erasmus MC.” Again, Erasmus MC is Koopmans’ animal lab.
Peter Daszak worked closely for years prior to the pandemic with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak’s nonprofit group, EcoHealth Alliance, funneled the WIV $600,000 in U.S. taxpayer funds between 2014 and 2019 to study bat-based coronaviruses.
Daszak told “60 Minutes” on Sunday that the WHO team had no choice but to take the Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists at their word, who unsurprisingly said their lab had no connection to the initial outbreak. Daszak also said it wasn’t the WHO’s job to determine whether the Chinese government covered up details about the pandemic’s origins.
In spite of the compromised WHO panel’s Tuesday report likely denying the lab leak theory, there is evidence from the U.S. State Department that Wuhan lab researchers became infected with COVID-like symptoms before the first known cases in December 2019.
“Despite the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military,” the State Department reported in January. “The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”
No matter what the report says, it is clear the Chinese government hijacked the WHO’s probe, which was presumably run by a panel of puppet “investigators.” China’s secrecy and American intelligence suggest the lab leak theory is true. The fight will continue to hold China accountable and for the world to finally know the truth about the origins of the Wuhan virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of nearly 2.8 million people across the globe.