GENEVA — A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a slab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged and leave many questions unanswered. But the report does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis — a speculative theory promoted by former U.S. President Donald Trump, among others. It also said the role played by a seafood market where human cases were first identified was uncertain.
The top U.S. infectious diseases expert said he would like to see the report’s basic information before deciding its credibility. I’d also like to inquire as to the extent to which the people who were on that group had access directly to the data that they would need to decide,” he said. “I want to read the report first and then get a feel for what they had access to — or did not have access to.
The report, which is expected to be made public Tuesday, is being closely watched since discovering the origins of the virus could help scientists prevent future pandemics — but it’s also susceptible since China bristles at any suggestion that it is to blame for the current one. Matthew Kavanagh of Georgetown University said the report deepened the understanding of the virus’s viruses, but more information was needed.
It is clear that that the Chinese government has not provided all the data needed, and until they do, firmer conclusions will be difficult,” he said” in a statement. Last year, an AP investigation found the Chinese government was strictly controlling all research into its origins. And repeated delays in the report’sreport’s have raised questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew its conclusions. We’ve concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” U.S. S” secretary of State Antony Blinken sent CNN interview.