An expert panel convened by the WHO’s scientific advisory group recommended “further investigations” into the lab-leak theory, and noted that there “has not been any new data made available” to come to any conclusions.
As the Epoch Times notes, the report stated in a footnote that three panel members from Russia, Brazil, and China objected to the recommendations, saying there is “no scientific evidence” to question the commission’s previous conclusion from March 2021.
The report was written by a team, named the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), which was tasked with advising the WHO on investigations into pathogens that might trigger the next pandemic, as well as studying the origins of the current pandemic.
The 27-member group was established last autumn following criticism from a dozen countries that raised concerns about WTO’s COVID-19 origins study, due to a lack of transparency and access to crucial data from China.
As the Washington Examiner notes, Chinese officials slammed the report – with Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian saying on Friday that the theory was nothing more than a politically motivated lie driven by “anti-China” sentiments.
“The lab leak theory is totally a lie concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes, which has nothing to do with science,” he said, adding “We always supported and participated in science-based global virus tracing, but we firmly opposed any forms of political manipulation.”
Zhao then suggested that the virus actually originated in a US military lab, citing “highly suspicious laboratories such as Fort Detrick.”