U.S. Urges WHO to Continue Virus Investigation

The United States has urged the World Health Organization to continue its investigation into the origin of the new coronavirus by giving independent experts access to all of the original data and samples from China.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva said in a statement Thursday (May 27) that the WHO’s initial investigation in China was “inadequate and inconclusive.” The statement called for a timely, transparent and evidence-based second phase of the investigation, including China.

The statement said it was “important that China provide independent experts with thorough access to all raw data and samples relevant to understanding the origin of the virus and the initial stages of the outbreak.”

In a separate statement, Simon Manley, the British ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said, “The initial first phase of the WHO investigation into the new coronavirus always represents the beginning of the process rather than the end. We call for a timely, transparent, evidence-based and expert-led second phase of the investigation, including the People’s Republic of China, in line with the recommendations of the expert report.”

A representative of the Chinese Embassy in the United States said Thursday that China supports “a comprehensive investigation of all early cases of the new coronavirus found around the world, and a thorough investigation of a number of clandestine bases and biological laboratories around the world.”

Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s chief emergency specialist, told the annual meeting of health ministers Wednesday that “we have had informal consultations with many of our members to understand what the next phase will be. We will continue those discussions in the coming weeks.”