G7 leaders will urge the World Health Organization to conduct a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to a draft communiqué.
The call will be part of a document prepared by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US outlining a plan to end the pandemic by December 2022. Bloomberg reported.
The World Health Organization released a joint report with Chinese scientists in March after a team spent four weeks in Wuhan, saying it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.
But the findings were criticized over concerns that researchers had been delayed and unable to access original samples.
The decision to call in a new probe comes amid allegations that a lab in Wuhan is engaged in a “cover-up” of the situation. The Wall Street Journal reported that three Wuhan lab workers were hospitalized in November 2019 with symptoms similar to COVID, but before the first cases were reported.
And the G7 leaders’ move follows that of the European Union, which decided to join forces with the United States to demand a new study.
Both announcements are a major boost for President Joe Biden, who announced last month that he had asked the intelligence community to redouble its efforts to uncover the truth.
G7 leaders will urge the World Health Organization to conduct a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19; above President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive at Cornwall Airport Newquay and are greeted by Lord Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolitho ahead of the G7 summit
Biden said last month he would continue to press China to participate in a full, transparent investigation to find out if the Wuhan lab (pictured) was the source of the COVID-19 pandemic
The G7 communiqué is still being finalized and will include other items, such as a call on Russia to hold to account groups within its borders that carry out ransomware attacks and a commitment to accelerate the shift to zero-emission vehicles to combat climate change.
Biden landed in the United Kingdom on Wednesday evening for an eight-day trip to Europe, his first overseas trip as president.
Joe Biden’s G7 schedule includes a meeting with the queen after the summit
During President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip as US leader, a meeting with the Queen will take place after the G7 summit. Here’s the full schedule:
Wednesday 9 June
Biden and his wife Jill leave Washington on Wednesday morning. Their first stop in the UK is at Royal Air Force Mildenhall to greet US Air Force personnel stationed there. Mildenhall is home to the 100th Air Refueling Wing, the United States Air Force’s only permanent air refueling wing in the European theater.
thursday 10 june
Biden will meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall, the site of the G7 summit, to reaffirm the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Friday 11 June
Biden will attend the G7 summit for three days starting Friday to work on US policy priorities such as the economy and allied unity.
Saturday June 12
Biden will attend more G7 summits in Cornwall and have bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders.
Sunday 13 June
Biden will end his meetings at the G7 summit. Afterwards, the Bidens will meet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Then Biden travels to Brussels for the night.
Monday 14 June
Biden will meet with NATO leaders and have a private meeting with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan.
Tuesday, Jyoudo 15
Biden will hold more NATO meetings and then fly to Geneva for the night.
Wednesday June 16
Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, their first face-to-face meeting since Biden became president. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday it is unclear whether the two leaders will hold a joint press conference after their talks.
Officials have said the schedule – a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of a G7 summit, before traveling to Brussels for a NATO summit and EU meetings – was carefully coordinated as a show of unity before Biden enters talks. with President Vladimir Putin Geneva.
President Biden has indicated that climate change and countering Russian aggression are some of his key agenda items for his meetings with leaders in the G7, NATO and the EU — along with tackling the COVID pandemic that has killed 3.76 million worldwide. causes.
EU leaders are also working on their own draft communiqué to support the US president.
“We call for progress with a transparent, evidence-based, expert-led, WHO-convened Phase 2 study on the origin of COVID-19, which is free from interference,” the draft said. Reuters.
The question of the origin of COVID is exerting scientists and politicians in the US
The two competing theories are that the virus jumped naturally from an animal host into humans, causing the pandemic, or that it escaped from a virus lab in Wuhan, China.
This week, Trump-era officials called on the Biden administration to cut certain types of research funding to China and investigate sanctions to force Beijing to cooperate in investigations.
And last month, President Biden finally asked his intelligence agencies to step up their efforts to uncover the truth about its origins, amid growing concerns that it emerged from a Chinese lab.
A string of senior scientists recently admitted they may have jumped to conclusions by assuming the virus jumped from an animal host in the wild to humans and are now investigating the theory that it leaked from a Wuhan lab that had been in the last 12 months. got fired .
And last month, new details emerged about how staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital treatment for COVID-like symptoms in November 2019.
As a result, a theory once sent to fringe websites, championed by the Trump administration and rejected by the media, has gone mainstream and Biden staffers have given up skepticism to call for more research.
Biden defended his administration’s approach, saying intelligence agencies were divided on the two possible scenarios: lab leak or natural transmission into the wild.
“I have now asked the intelligence agencies to redouble their efforts to gather and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me within 90 days,” he said in May.
“As part of that report, I asked about areas of further research that may be needed, including questions specific to China.”
He also commissioned national labs to assist with the research.
Did the coronavirus originate in a Chinese government lab?
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been collecting numerous coronaviruses from bats since the SARS outbreak in 2002. They have also published papers describing how these bat viruses interacted with human cells.
U.S. Embassy officials visited the lab in 2018 and had “serious security concerns” over protocols adhered to at the facility.
The lab is located just a few miles from Huanan’s wet market, where the first cluster of infections broke out in Wuhan.
The market is just a few hundred meters from another lab, the Wuhan Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (WHCDC). The WHCDC kept sick animals in its labs, including some 605 bats.
Those who support the theory argue that Covid-19 could have leaked from one or both of these facilities and spread to the wet market. Most argue that this would be a virus they were studying rather than a developed virus.
Researchers work in a laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province in 2017
Last year, a bomb paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology told how bats once attacked a WHCDC researcher and had “bat blood on his skin.”
The report says, “Patient genome sequences were 96% or 89% identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus originally found in Rhinolophus affinis (intermediate horseshoe bat).”
It describes how the only native bats are found about 600 miles away from the Wuhan fish market and that the chances of bats flying from Yunnan and Zhejiang provinces were minimal.
In addition, there is little evidence that locals eat the bats, as evidenced by testimonials from 31 residents and 28 visitors.
Instead, the authors point to research being conducted within 300 meters of the WHCDC.
One of the WHCDC researchers described himself in quarantine for two weeks after a bat’s blood got on his skin, according to the report. That same man also went into quarantine after a bat peed on him.
And he also mentions the discovery of a live bat tick — parasites known for their ability to spread infection through the blood of a host animal.
The WHCDC also adjoined the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors became infected during this epidemic, the report said.
“It is likely that the virus was leaking and some of them infecting the first patients in this epidemic, although solid evidence is needed in future research.”