14 Oct. 2021 08:35
The World Health Organization has proposed the German virologist Christian Drosten as a member of a new advisory board. In the future, this will develop guidelines for studies on the origin of pandemics and epidemics and supervise corresponding investigations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed 26 members from numerous countries, including China, the United States, Russia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia. WHO Emergency Relief Coordinator Mike Ryan said that political considerations allegedly did not play a role in the selection.
This advisory board is a reaction to the long delayed WHO investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. A commission of inquiry from the WHO did not travel to China until more than twelve months later. However, the investigations by the WHO were not without controversy, as the British-American zoologist and expert on infection epidemiology Peter Daszak was a participant in the commission of inquiry. He is considered a close cooperation partner of the Institute of Virology in Wuhan. Some experts suspect that SARS-CoV-2 was released there through an accident. However, other scientists assume a natural origin for the virus. Several scientists, including Daszak and Drosten, described the thesis of the laboratory origin of the virus in an opinion piece in the journal Lancet quite early on as “conspiracy theory”.
The US government also accuses China of withholding information from the WHO expert team. The Chinese government, on the other hand, accuses the USA of misusing the question of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 for political purposes. According to the WHO, such studies should in future be prepared by the advisory board so that they can then take place without political disputes. WHO chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
“It is in the nature of things that new viruses emerge with the potential to cause epidemics or pandemics.”
He also stated that SARS-CoV-2 will not be the last virus. It is therefore important to understand where new pathogens come from. This is important to prevent future pandemics and epidemics. (rt / dpa)
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