A WHO investigator has hit out at America by telling people to “trust Chinese data” and “not to rely on information coming from US”.
In an extraordinary outburst Peter Daszak, a British-American expert in pandemics, dismissed US intelligence as “wrong on many aspects” about Covid-19.
Peter Daszak, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of Covid, waves as he leaves a hotel in Wuhan todayCredit: Reuters
Peter Ben Embarek and Peter Daszak pose for a photographCredit: Reuters
Daszak also accused President Joe Biden of “trying to look tough on China” after a State Department spokesman questioned whether Beijing had been fully open with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) fact-finding mission.
But it has emerged the organisation which he heads, the EcoHealth Alliance, has reportedly had links with the Wuhan Institute of Virology which is at the centre of the leaked virus claims, reports MailOnline.
And in an article published in The Guardian in July, he argued such theories were bogus.
It came after Mike Pompeo said there was “significant evidence” that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory as he blasted the “corrupt” WHO.
The former US Secretary of State made the remarks after the WHO insisted the killer coronavirus did not come from a lab in Wuhan, after a 14-day investigation.
Peter Daszak heads EcoHealth Alliance which has had links with Wuhan Institute of Virology in the past
A tweet today laid into Joe Biden whom he said was ‘trying to look tough on ChinaCredit: Twitter
Mike Pompeo says there is ‘significant evidence’ that Covid originated in the Wuhan lab, despite the WHO’s findingsCredit: Reuters
The WHO has been accused of a “whitewash” after appearing to side with the Communist Party by also dismissing the theory that Covid came from a Wuhan wet market.
In response to the bombshell findings, Pompeo slammed the UN agency, claiming it had “bended a knee” to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since the start of the pandemic.
He told Fox News: “I must say the reason we left the World Health Organization was because we came to believe that it was corrupt.
“It had been politicised. It was bending a knee to General Secretary Xi Jinping in China.
“I hope that’s not the case here with what they’ve announced today.”
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is the only lab in China which studies bat coronaviruses.
The World Health Organisation appears to have sided with China and dismissed the lab theoryCredit: AFP or licensors
Pompeo, who served as America’s top diplomat from 2018 until last month, says there is a strong evidence that the virus originated from the facility.
He said: “I hope they got to see all the data, all the science, into the lab, talk to the doctors, interview them in private, in places where they could actually tell the truth about what took place.
“Not under the supervision of a Communist Party person sitting in the back of the room making sure that they toed the Communist Party line.
“I look forward to seeing their results. I continue to know that there was significant evidence that this may well have come from that laboratory.”
Asked how Biden should treat China, Pompeo said: “We shouldn’t worry about General Xi Jinping’s feelings.
“We should worry about protecting the American people … We have to confront the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party is presenting to America and to the world.”
The highly anticipated WHO news conference on the virus’s origins yesterday lasted nearly three hours – but left more questions than it offered answers.
Huanan Seafood Market was considered the prime suspect in the origin of Covid-19
It was originally claimed the virus jumped to humans at the so-called ‘wet market’Credit: AP:Associated Press
Dr Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the WHO mission, said identifying the origin of the coronavirus remains a “work in progress”.
“The findings suggest lab incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population,” he said.
The virus was first identified after a person contracted it at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan some 406 days ago.
However, the probe revealed that even the location of the virus’s ground zero is now in doubt.
The WHO endorsed the Chinese theory that the original outbreak last December could have been triggered by a virus carried on frozen food.
China has previously claimed the virus has been found hiding in goods from Ecuador, Brazil and Australia.
It has used the suggestion to try and deflect attention from its own handling of the pandemic – with accusations its failures allowed the virus to spread worldwide.
Foreign bats are also being probed as possible origin of Covid as Professor Liang said no bats in the wild in China had been found to be carrying viruses that may have mutated into Covid-19.
The team believe the virus originated in animals – likely bats or pangolins – but the intermediate hosts that allowed it to jump to humans are “yet to be identified”.