Danish Food-Safety Expertise for the Win


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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 Industrially Necessary Dr. Tedros

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.
Literally.


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.



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Comments

  1. I agree 1,000%. Anything to establish plausible deniability for a large patron. Thanks for calling this out…a year ago! Hence there is no surprise in these findings, except the particular (and helpfully vague) excuse they have settled on.

  2. Avatar for Pat_W Pat_W says:

    I find The WHO’s announcement astonishing. It came to China on US pork packaging? Really!? Then why did the problem not begin in the US? Russian squid or Saudi shrimp, 2 animals that do not harbor Covid viruses, as far as I know. It count not possibly have originated in the Human biolab? Thou protesteth too vigorously, dear Lady China.

    Such an announcement can have no purpose other than oiling the feathers of the CCP. It gets an eye roll from any reasonably educated person. So The WHO cares nothing for non-China world governments. China is the 800 pound gorilla in their donor base.

    Astonishing.

  3. The WHO press conference rhymes a lot with Trump’s rant on Russian interference. “It could be a fat guy with a laptop”.

    It could be anything, therefore it must be nothing.

  4. The WHO are running dogs for the CCP. They even tried to blame the spread on Australian beef. It is a contemptible organisation.

  5. Avatar for ben ben says:

    What I find scary is the ability of the Chinese to bend the entire narrative of 17 WHO members not even 1 dissident. Now that’s power. Not a Trump fan but he would be calling this out BIG TIME and so far nothing from BIDEN and other western leaders.

  6. Quoting from the article “In laying out the possibilities for the origin of the pandemic, the WHO team on Tuesday said it was also possible that the virus may have been transmitted to humans through imported frozen food, a theory heavily promoted by Beijing.”

    Here is a Reuters article with a timeline of China’s rigorous investigation of the risks in the frozen food supply chain.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-china-food/timeline-chinas-battle-with-coronavirus-on-frozen-food-and-packaging-idUKL4N2I32C4

  7. Deny, deny, counter-accuse. Classic. Pencil me in for the virology lab theory.

  8. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Click-baited? I understand that the WSJ article is behind a paywall, which is why I included so many direct quotes. I mean … unless your concern is that I’m making up the quotes, in which case I really don’t know how to respond.

  9. The Terms of Reference for the joint WHO / China report seem sensible (https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-convened-global-study-of-the-origins-of-sars-cov-2)

    The media briefing on 9 Feb 21 seems to have departed from this ToR (https://www.who.int/multi-media/details/who-media-briefing-from-wuhan-on-covid-19-mission---9-february-2021)

    It’s quite a long media briefing and there seem to be 4 main hypotheses for transmission to humans in Wuhan in early December 2019 (the press conference is clear that this is the place and time of first emergence):

    • direct animal to human in Wuhan
    • animal to human via intermediate species in Wuhan
    • origination elsewhere and transport to Wuhan on cold storage
    • release from lab in Wuhan
    In the press briefing Dr Peter Ben says, "Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific targeted research." (around 1hr 13mins)

    He goes on to say, “Similarly and connected to this hypothesis is also the one including the possibility of transmission through the trade of frozen cold-chain products.” and further, “It would be interesting to explore if a frozen wild animal that was infected could be a potential vehicle for the introduction of the virus or the viruses into market environments where we know that the temperature, the humidity, the environments could be conducive to a rapid spread of the virus in such an environment. So a lot of work needs to be done to better understand these interesting pathways.” At no point does he mention any other country by name and at best refers to interesting possibilities in south east Asia.

    I’m not disputing that Chinese media have made claims about the origin of cold storage - but the WHO researchers don’t. It seems to me that their epistemic standards are pretty good - the reporting on it not so much.

    @Benhunt

    • your point 1 in the 3 part report of what the researchers said is extended too far - they don't know where the virus came from and are doing more studies, particularly in animal populations to find out
    • your point 2 is fine - and in reading the transcript the defence on this is a lot more subjective and weaker
    • your point 3 doesn't hold up - that point is what the Chinese media have said - not what the researchers said
    I'm not disagreeing with your broader claims on the WHO and it's place in the narrative machines that have been built, I just think narrower claims work better.
  10. Avatar for Pat_W Pat_W says:

    Outside the public spotlight The Who does a lot of good work. It has it’s contemptible moments, but wholesale repudiation of the organization is not merited at this time.

  11. Avatar for Pat_W Pat_W says:

    The Biden admin did comment that they would be making their own, independent evaluation of the report.

  12. Avatar for Pat_W Pat_W says:

    I do not think you made anything up, however it is normal to pick quotes that support one’s thesis. I only wished I could have read the entire content to compare into the Reuters information, or see if the WSJ was acting more to reenforce the anti-WHO narrative. Flat Arthur, the argument that the virus could have been transmitted through frozen foods packaging is a stretch of credibility. The timeline you linked to goes back to last July, so it offers no real information as to the original source of the virus. Just today the NYTimes reiterated that transmission from surfaces seems to be quite rare, an that it makes more sense to wash hands than to obsess about surfaces. If the virus had originated in another country, there would have been early outbreaks in that other country. There were not.

    I agree that The WHO report is politically motivated toward supporting China’s narrative of “We are Blameless! Blameless, I tell you!” And my old favorite when someone points their finger at you, “Look over there! (food packaged long after the pandemic began)”

  13. IMO - the most likely scenario is that people in the US and people in China were collaborating on gain-of-function laboratory coronavirus, either legit or not so prior to 2020, and the virus escaped, either by intention or not so. Thereafter, the (WHO) obfuscation has been so nefarious that we are all just hopelessly confused about what is actually true. Our own CDC and NIAID are not immune from criticism as well. If you think you know what is true about anything related to the meme of Covid-19, congratulations and condolences!

  14. Hmmm. China says “not us”. Same country that claims the Uyghurs are in “re-education camps”. And that a 9 dash line on an old drawing gives them sovereignty over the South China Sea. Sure…

  15. Except there is proof that all of the “Russian interference” was an absolute hoax.

  16. Yeah, the DNC and the CCP are one in the same.

  17. I understand the desire to blame the Chinese. However, two bothersome facts suggest that there is good reason for uncertainty. The first known cases in the US, looking back, were in November/December 2019, so the disease may have been a recent import at that point. That is before the known Wuhan outbreak.
    When the Wuhan outbreak became known a US news report (NYT or WSJ, I don’t remember which) named the lab and said that it had been working on a joint research effort with Fort Dettrick, and 2 Fort Dettrick researchers had recently gone to Wuhan to pursue further research.
    If it had been a classified project I find it astonishing that it would have been subcontracted to China, and if it wasn’t I don’t understand why it wasn’t made common knowledge to prevent all the rumoured nefarious Chinese plots.

  18. Everyone with a brain has to see that WHO is a disaster as a credible scientific organization. It is a political arm of Communist Chinese. So why won’t left wing media, or left wing politicians, or Bill Gates, or Dr. Fauci ever report honestly on WHO? What is their motivation to provide air cover for Communist propaganda?

  19. Nope. From the top down, the organization has made it clear they see priority one as covering up for Communist Chinese. WHO needs to have its head chopped off. If there is anything useful happening below leadership level, keep that running under new leadership

  20. Biden admin also restored full US funding to WHO. Follow the money. Biden admin is paying off the Communist Chinese that control the WHO. Plain as day. Most important question, why would Biden admin make this choice?

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