Pinpointing SARS-CoV-2’s animal origins is key to preventing a similar outbreak—but China has kept the search “shrouded in secrecy” from the get-go, resisting outside scrutiny, blocking probes of discrepancies, and dictating the terms of WHO involvement.
Concessions were necessary to maintain access, the WHO says, but the agency, “both indispensable and impotent,” has paid dearly in clout and credibility.
Investigations are proceeding—but with China still controlling international participation, and the WHO guarding agreement details, there’s little hope of transparency.
The Quote: “Unfortunately, this has become a political investigation,” said Wang Linfa, an Australian virologist who investigated the origins of the SARS outbreak. “Whatever they do is symbolic.”
The New York Times
Back to top