The origins of COVID-19 need further investigation, scientists say

D.According to a letter signed by 18 scientists from various institutions in North America and Europe, a deeper investigation is needed to find out where SARS-CoV-2 came from. Published today (May 14th) in scienceThe letter notes that the evidence available as to the origin of the virus does not allow researchers to rule out either the hypothesis that the virus was spilled from animals or the idea that it was accidentally released from a laboratory.

“We have to take hypotheses about natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data,” the authors write. “A proper investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, including broad expertise, independently monitored, and responsibly managed to minimize the impact of a conflict of interest.”

World Health Organization (WHO) officials previously described the theory that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan as “extremely unlikely.” Instead, researchers from the organization, who had spent nearly a month in Wuhan investigating the origins of the outbreak, advocated the hypothesis that the virus originated from an animal species and may have been transmitted to humans through an intermediate host. A number of virologists have agreed with this view.

See “WHO discount idea that SARS-CoV-2 has left a laboratory”

However, in a statement in March, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that while the novel coronavirus was still unlikely to have come from a laboratory leak, further research was needed to definitively rule out the theory BBC News.

The investigation, convened by the WHO, has been criticized by the US and other countries. A March 30 statement on behalf of the governments of the US, UK, Australia and a number of other countries outlined shared concern that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus had been significantly delayed and had no access to it complete original data and samples. Scientific missions like this should be able to do their job under conditions that provide independent and objective advice and knowledge. “

Relying on this statement, the authors of the science One letter stated that “more clarity” is needed about the origins of the pandemic. They are demanding that public health authorities and research laboratories publish their records and that investigators’ analyzes be replicated by “independent experts”.

See “Theory That Coronavirus Escaped A Laboratory And Has No Evidence”

In response to the letter’s publication, virologist Angela Rasmussen reports from the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Organization The New York Times She supports additional research on the origins of COVID-19, but adds that the laboratory leak theory has been politicized and is not the most likely scenario. “There is more evidence (both genomic and historical precedents) that this was the result of zoonotic origins rather than a laboratory accident,” she says Times.

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