China Blocks Team of Researchers From Entering the Country to Investigate Coronavirus Origins
China has blocked World Health Organization officials from entering the country to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, despite an agreement between the WHO and the Communist government to let the scientists in.
From the New York Post:
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is “disappointed” by Beijing’s stalling and noted that the members of the international scientific team have begun leaving their home countries in the past day under an agreement between WHO and the Communist Chinese government.
“Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” Tedros said during a news conference in Geneva.
Adhanom added that two members of the team were already en route to the country when they learned the news, placing them in limbo as they await word on the next step.
Despite being praised by some for their response to COVID-19, the Chinese Communist government has remained secretive about investigating the origins of the virus. The country has handed out grants to research to investigate the origins of the virus, but closing monitors their findings and does not allow publication of any date unless the information is approved by a cabinet answerable to President Xi Jinping.
China’s lack of cooperation with international researchers has only served to fuel speculation that the virus could have originated in a Chinese lab. Although the hypothesis has led to outright dismissals from some scientists and many in the media, a recent article in New York Magazine argued there is a reasonable chance that’s exactly what happened.
“Many thoughtful people dismiss this notion, and they may be right,” the article’s author, Nicholson Baker, wrote. “They sincerely believe that the coronavirus arose naturally, ‘zoonotically,’ from animals, without having been previously studied, or hybridized, or sluiced through cell cultures, or otherwise worked on by trained professionals.”
“There is no direct evidence for these zoonotic possibilities, just as there is no direct evidence for an experimental mishap — no written confession, no incriminating notebook, no official accident report,” Baker continued, noting that it is too early to dismiss to dismiss any hypothesis.
Until China cooperates with international researchers, such questions will continue to remain a mystery.