Danish food-safety expert Peter Ben Embarek, speaking on behalf of the WHO delegation
The World Health Organization just concluded its 4-week investigation (two of which were spent in quarantine) of the original Covid outbreak in Wuhan, China. If you enjoy throwing up in your mouth a little bit, you can read the entire Wall Street Journal article on the press conference here. If you’re not so inclined, here’s what the WHO team of 17 scientists, flanked by 17 Chinese scientists, announced:
1) The SARS-CoV-2 virus most likely originated in an animal and jumped to humans, probably outside of China.
2) It is highly unlikely that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated at the local Level 4 biolab doing gain-of-function research on coronaviruses.
3) It is entirely possible, though, that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was originally brought into China on packages of frozen food. American pork, maybe? Perhaps Brazilian beef? Russian squid? Saudi Arabian shrimp? China says that it has detected the virus on all of these.
In concluding remarks delivered by Peter Ben Embarek, “a Danish food-safety expert who spoke on behalf of the WHO delegation”, we learned that “the virus could have taken a long and convoluted path involving movements across borders before arriving in the Huanan Market”, and that the fact that “frozen farm products were sold in the market” means that “further studies on the source of animal products in the market as well as research on similar products still being sold elsewhere” are the clear next steps for the investigation.
Or as Peter Daszak, another member of the WHO team said, “I think our focus needs to shift to those supply chains to the market, supply chains from outside China, even.”
As for that local Level 4 biolab doing gain-of-function research on coronaviruses, the WHO team “was reassured by hearing of the high biosafety protocols adhered to in the city’s major labs, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology”, during their guided tour of the facilities, which took “several hours”.
In reaching its conclusions, the WHO team literally spent more time “visiting a museum celebrating China’s success in controlling the virus in Wuhan and a frozen food storage facility at a local wholesale market” than at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
I wrote this article about the original failings of the World Health Organization almost exactly one year ago. Nothing has changed.
The World Health Organization is a political organization, bought and paid for by its sponsor countries, with a single, dominant mandate: maintain the party line.
The World Health Organization continues to place the political interests of patron states above all else.
The World Health Organization is a necessary part of the Chinese narrative machine.
It’s more than a disgrace. It’s more than a humiliation of the thousands of researchers and clinicians who do good and important work through WHO funding.
It’s a betrayal of the entire world.