UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Monday, March 29, 2021
The long-awaited WHO report on the origins of COVID-19 failed to probe the Chinese authorities who possibly covered up information related to the early stages of the pandemic. In a leaked copy of the report, which was expected to be released Tuesday, it stated the origins of the outbreak were “inconclusive.”
It also characterized the theory that said the virus emerged from a lab in Wuhan as “extremely unlikely” — a conclusion that was met with criticism over a potential conflict of interest. The only American researcher on the team, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, admitted they did not investigate China’s lack of transparency.
“But weren’t the Chinese engaged in a cover-up?” questioned ’60 Minutes’ Correspondent Lesley Stahl during an interview. “They destroyed evidence? They punished scientists who were trying to give evidence on this very question of the origin?”
“Well, that wasn’t our task, to find out if China had covered up the origin issue,” claimed Peter Daszak.
Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO-led inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 virus and expert on coronaviruses, says the team looked into the theory that the virus originated in an accidental lab leak, but deemed the theory “extremely unlikely.” https://t.co/4RhcMEZcbc pic.twitter.com/uZY3fNhPT3
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 28, 2021
Meanwhile, some scientists have questioned Daszak’s involvement in the probe. They pointed to his involvement in the decision to approve NIH grants, totaling $598,000 dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology between 2014 and 2020.