NEWS & ANALYSIS

SECRETS & SWITCHUPS: WHO Won’t Release Report on COVID Origin As Concerns Over Legitimacy Grow


The World Health Organization has become one of the leading sources for information on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But, their credibility is quickly slipping away. 

Not only have they gotten so much wrong throughout the last year, they have yet to release any information on where the pandemic really started – perhaps the most important question of all. 

The World Health Organization Team that announced in February it was “extremely unlikely” that the pandemic could have accidentally leaked from a Wuhan lab has done away with the previously announced plans to release a report on its findings, the Daily Caller reports

Spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said almost a month ago that the report would be released “in the coming days,” but the team’s lead researcher, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, told the Wall Street Journal Thursday that it will not release an interim report. 

Instead, they will publish a comprehensive report “in coming weeks and will include key findings.” 

“By definition a summary report does not have all the details,” Embarek said. “So since there [is] so much interest in this report, a summary only would not satisfy the curiosity of the readers.” 

This delay in reporting findings from the investigation in Wuhan comes amid growing criticism from the science community over the legitimacy of the mission in its entirety. 

In a letter on Thursday, a group of 24 scientists stated that the mission in China, which was accompanied by “Chinese citizens whose scientific independence may be limited,” did not have the “mandate, the independence or the necessary access” to fully investigate all potential origins of the virus, including the idea that the virus could have accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

The scientists called for a new investigation “carried out by a truly independent team with no unresolved conflicts of interest.”

And, they urged the investigation must have “no full or partial control by any specific agenda or country” and must have “full or significant access” to all laboratories, Chinese and international, that are known to have worked on coronaviruses prior to the pandemic. 

“With more than two million deaths, more than a hundred million infected by COVID-19 worlwide, and a massive global disruption impacting some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, we can’t afford an investigation into the origins of the pandemic that is anything less than absolutely thorough and credible,” the scientists wrote. “If we fail to fully and courageously examine the origins of this pandemic, we risk being unprepared for a potentially worse pandemic in the future.” 

Not only is the WHO essentially withholding information, they have previously spread false information, too. 

In the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO said COVID-19 spreads mainly via direct contact with large respiratory droplets. However, we have since learned that transmission of the virus is, in fact, airborne. 

It also took the WHO until June 5 to recommend that people in high-transmission areas wear face masks in public, a recommendation that was already standard in many countries and cities.

Despite holding press briefings almost every day, the WHO has also stumbled when communicating with the general public. In a January tweet, for example, the WHO declared that, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus,” Time reports. They meant that the threat was still under investigation, but many took it as there isn’t a threat. 

The WHO has contradicted itself so many times over the last year that they’ve almost been wrong more than right. It is critical we find out how the pandemic spread so we can ensure something like it never happens again.