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WHO Expert Warns China May Be Hiding Origins of COVID-19

Dominic Dwyer OMS


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The World Health Organization (WHO) sent a group of experts to Wuhan approved by China to investigate the origin of COVID-19.

Australian microbiology expert Dominic Dwyer, who was part of the investigative group, told the media that “the Chinese authorities refused to provide WHO investigators with raw and personalized data on the first 174 cases of COVID-19” that occurred at the epicenter of the pandemic.

According to the investigator, the data Beijing refuses to release could determine information about the origin and spread of the pandemic that has claimed more than 2,000,000 lives and infected more than 100,000,000 people worldwide.

Chinese officials and scientists “provided their own extensive summaries and analysis of case data,” WHO team members said. But the WHO team “was not allowed to see the underlying raw data in those retrospective studies,” which could allow them to conduct their own analysis of how early and how widely the virus began to spread in China.

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The Communist Party of China (CCP) regime refused to release necessary information from the first moment doctors in Wuhan detected patients carrying COVID-19, preventing a timely response from the world in the face of the pandemic. For more than a year China has withheld information relevant for scientists to discover the origin of the virus.

WHO team members sit on a bus as they leave the Jade Boutique Hotel after the mandatory 14-day quarantine, in Wuhan, China. (EFE)
Conflict among WHO researchers

In the midst of Dwyer’s complaint, zoologist Peter Daszak, also a member of the WHO delegation to China, sought to refute media reports suggesting that Beijing failed to provide some key data on the first coronavirus cases in Wuhan.

“This was NOT my experience on the mission. As leader of the animal/environment working group, I found trust and openness with my counterparts in China, we had access to critical new data at all times, and we increased our understanding of possible transmission pathways,” said Peter Daszac.

Daszak’s position has been questioned, however, as prior to becoming a WHO inspector the scientist coordinated a phase of research, which took place from 2014 to 2019, at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to investigate and catalog bat coronaviruses in China.

Daszak discussed the testing of “modified coronaviruses in human cells and humanized mice at WIV” just weeks before the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in Wuhan city itself.

For his part, Peter Ben Embarek, leader of the WHO investigation, told the press that the virus is transmitted to a human from an animal and added that the virus could have arrived in China through frozen food, following the discourse that the CCP has been imposing since the beginning of 2020.

Many contradictions

Embarek, in his statement on the investigations carried out in China by the WHO, indicated that “the theory indicating a laboratory leak is extremely unlikely”. However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom announced that WHO “has not ruled out any hypothesis about the roots of COVID-19.”

The contradictions and confrontations between investigators have prompted the White House to express concerns about China’s handling of information since the pandemic began in late 2019.

Biden calls for transparency

The United States has demanded that China and the WHO hand over full information on the origin of the virus. The lack of transparency forced the administration to withdraw American support for the WHO.

Although President Biden, in one of his first acts, re-included the United States in the WHO, he requested that independent American experts conduct a parallel investigation, and in turn demanded that the Chinese government provide all relevant information leading to the origin of COVID-19.

“Was it in a wet market? Did it come from bats? Were the bats associated with the virus or the pangolins? All these questions are now a matter of speculation.”

President Joe Biden

Bloomberg reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “backed President Joe Biden’s call” to find the true origin of the virus.

China responded by criticizing the United States for “greatly damaging the multilateral cooperation relationship with WHO in recent years and obstructing international cooperation in epidemic prevention.”

Beijing insists that the U.S. should conduct similar investigations taking into account the CCP’s theory on the origin of COVID-19 outside China.

Camilo Bello is a consultant focused on Asia Pacific studies and has experience in strategic management. He has studied law in Colombia and is currently pursuing studies in language and history at National Taiwan Normal University. He has collaborated with Students for Freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan // Camilo es consultor enfocado en estudios de Asia Pacífico y experiencia en gestión estratégica. Cuenta con estudios en Derecho en Colombia y actualmente se encuentra realizando estudios en lenguaje e historia en National Taiwan Normal University. Colaborador de Estudiantes por la Libertad en Hong Kong y Taiwán