A team from the World Health Organization has concluded that it is more likely that COVID-19 jumped from an animal to humans than leaked from a Chinese lab. This finding came after WHO officials were finally let into Wuhan by Beijing to conduct an investigation.
The Associated Press reports that the team visited Wuhan, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was at the centre of a theory that the virus was fabricated in a lab and leaked into the public. This was a theory believed by Dr Li-Meng Yang, who appeared on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight in late 2020, as well as many others.
These researchers believe that because the Wuhan Virology Lab was engaged in "gain of function" research, meaning that the scientists there altered existing viruses in order to make them more contagious and therefore easier to be studied, the coronavirus could easily have been created in the lab and accidentally released.
The first cases COVID-19 were revealed by the CCP to be in Wuhan in December 2019, and the pandemic has since killed over 2.3 million people worldwide, while causing economic collapse due to extreme measures put in place by governments in an effort to curb the spread. There are indicators that the virus was present in China as early as November, 2019.
"Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific targeted research," WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek told the media.
"However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population," he went on to say.
An investigation by the Associated Press found that the CCP limited research and prevented scientists from speaking to the media.
The CCP continues to reject calls for an independent investigation. Visits by the WHO were met with opposition, and it took the agency months to negotiate with Beijing before being allowed in.
The AP reports that the mission of the WHO was to understand the origins of COVID, specifically as regards the theory that the virus passed from animals to humans and then spread mercilessly around the world.
According to Embarek, it is the transmission of the virus from bats, or pangolins, to humans via live or frozen food products that is the main possibility being investigated.