WHO Team Investigating Pandemic’s Origins Must Have Better Access, Officials and Scientists Say

Francis Collins

The next phase of the World Health Organization (WHO) investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic must be more scientific and data-driven, a group of scientists wrote in an open letter to the WHO on Friday.

China should not be permitted to veto the team members chosen for the next WHO-led investigation and the team should be granted full access to related data such as medical records and biological samples, signers of the letter wrote.

The letter is authored by various international scientists and academics and co-organized by Jamie Metzl, a WHO advisor and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank.

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U.S. Issues ‘Do Not Travel’ Guidance to 80 Percent of Countries, Cites COVID-19

Airplane in the sky

The State Department is expanding the “Do Not Travel” guidelines for U.S. citizens to include nearly 80% of countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency announced Monday.

The travel advisories will be updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health notices as travelers are at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.

“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.

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China Revives Dubious Theory That U.S. Military Base Was Source of Coronavirus

Fort Detrick

A top Chinese government official on Wednesday seized on the findings of a World Health Organization report about the origins of the coronavirus, and revived a baseless theory that a U.S. military lab in Maryland was somehow involved in spreading the virus.

Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, endorsed the theory at press conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday, both before and after the release of a World Health Organization (WHO) report regarding the origins of the virus.

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WHO Delays Report on COVID’s Origins as China ‘Fights Tooth & Nail Over Each Sentence,’ WHO Advisor Says

China has delayed the release of a World Health Organization report on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as it reviews the document, according to a World Health Organization advisor.

A team of scientists led by the WHO was expected to release the report this week, after an investigation in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the first known cases of COVID-19 were found.

“Just received confirmation that release of the @WHO-organized int’l committee/Chinese gov’t report on #COVID19 origins has again been delayed, apparently as the Chinese side fights tooth & nail over each sentence. Anyone believe this compromise report can possibly be credible?” World Health Organization advisory committee member Jamie Metzl said Friday in a tweet.

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Social Media Doesn’t Allow Posts That Break COVID-19 Narratives, Even Though Health Organizations Keep Backtracking Previous Findings

Social media companies have policed coronavirus-related content based on information from top health organizations, even as those organizations have contradicted themselves.

Facebook and Google instituted policies early in the pandemic restricting user content shared on their platforms to information that doesn’t contradict World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings. However, the organizations have contradicted, backtracked or retracted their own findings throughout the pandemic.

Facebook’s policy states that the site “will debunk common myths that have been identified by the World Health Organization.” Shortly after coronavirus was declared a pandemic, Facebook announced its “Coronavirus Information Center,” which curates updates from “organizations such as the World Health Organization.”

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U.S. Nonprofit with Ties to Wuhan Lab Violated Federal Law by Failing to Disclose Taxpayer Funding, Complaint Alleges

A U.S. nonprofit with close ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology violated federal law by failing to disclose that taxpayer funds supported its work, according to a complaint a taxpayer watchdog group filed Monday.

EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) diverted $600,000 in taxpayer funds to the WIV in the form of National Institutes of Health subgrants between 2014 and 2019 as part of a research project studying coronaviruses from Chinese bats. But press releases from EHA describing the project failed to disclose that the project was backed by federal dollars, an omission that, according to the White Coat Waste Project, is a violation of a federal law known as the Stevens Amendment.

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China Demands to be in Charge of Global ‘Vaccine Passport’ System

On Tuesday, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) publicly petitioned for the World Health Organization (WHO) to let the Chinese government take charge of a proposed “vaccine passport” system for the entire world in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic that China started, as reported by Breitbart.

The proposal appeared in the Global Times, a Chinese government-run newspaper, which said that China could utilize its connections to Big Tech companies in order to build and sustain an international tracking system for any individuals who either have or have not yet received a coronavirus vaccine.

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China Withheld COVID-19 Data from World Health Organization Team Investigating Virus Origins: Report

Chinese authorities refused to share raw data on 174 early cases of Covid-19 with a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the scientists on the team told The Wall Street Journal.

According to The Journal, government authorities provided summaries of the coronavirus cases to the WHO team, but withheld raw data that could provide clues about how the virus transmitted early on in the pandemi

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Critics: Changing Information about Coronavirus Transmission, Impact Leads to Backlash over Policy Decisions

Since March, when U.S. policy makers implemented restrictive policies to limit the spread of the coronavirus, government agencies have collected data and reported their findings, which have significantly varied over time. As the data comes in, agencies have amended their guidelines, often to the frustration of policy makers and media critics.

Initially, the Centers for Disease Control argued that the coronavirus could be spread via surface-based transmission. It has since changed its position on this after scientific studies have shown the opposite. It recently stated that doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces are not consistent with transmission. Rather, spread of the virus is believed to be mostly through droplets from respiratory exchanges, it states in its revised guidelines.

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Commentary: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Dr. Carl Sagan was one of the premier scientists when it came to trying to bridge the gap of hard science with general public understanding. In the process, his personal enthusiasm for the wonder of science became evident to all. He also understood that science could be hijacked and that the highest standards of evidence were required when fantastic claims were being made.

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Commentary: Biden Sides with China, World Health Organization Again as Trump Begins Process of Leaving the WHO

“On my first day as President, I will rejoin the [World Health Organization] and restore our leadership on the world stage.”

That was former Vice President Joe Biden reacting on Twitter to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S from the World Health Organization (WHO), the group that uncritically repeated China’s false claims in mid-January that there was no human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Confirmed: China Pressured WHO Against Declaring Coronavirus Global Health Emergency

China pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) against declaring the coronavirus pandemic a global health emergency, a senior U.S. intelligence official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

That official’s account confirms aspects of Newsweek’s reporting, which cited a CIA report stating that China urged the WHO not to declare the pandemic a global health emergency.

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