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COVID-19 likely originated naturally – US National Institute of Health

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It is still unknown if the virus leaked out of a Wuhan lab, Dr. Francis Collins was quoted as saying in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

“The vast evidence from other perspectives says no, this was a naturally occurring virus,” he said. “Not to say that it could not have been under study secretly at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and got out of there, we don’t know about that. But the virus itself does not have the earmarks of having been created intentionally by human work.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in March concluded that a laboratory leak was “extremely unlikely”. Underlining its own report, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last month, proposed a second phase of studies in Wuhan. However, China rejected the probe, accusing the WHO of “arrogance” and a “disrespect for common sense”.

China’s refusal to participate has made the WHO investigation harder, Collins said. “I think China basically refused to consider another WHO investigation and just said ‘nope, not interested,” he said.

“Wouldn’t it be good if they’d actually open up their lab books and let us know what they were actually doing there and find out more about those cases of people who got sick in November of 2019 about which we really don’t know enough,” Collins added.


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