China has refused requests by the World Health Organization to take part in an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
“We know that some national investigation is happening but at this stage we have not been invited to join,” Dr. Gauden Galea, WHO representative in China, told Sky News. “WHO is making requests of the health commission and of the authorities.”
The WHO and the U.S. intelligence community have concluded that the coronavirus is naturally-occurring and was not genetically engineered. However, U.S. officials suspect that the pathogen may have been accidentally from a lab, possibly the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control.
Laboratory logs “would need to be part of any full report, any full look at the story of the origins,” Dr. Galea said. The WHO representative emphasized that “the origins of virus are very important, the animal-human interface is extremely important and needs to be studied. The priority is we need to know as much as possible to prevent the reoccurrence.”
U.S. officials and politicians have accused China of attempting to cover up the initial coronavirus outbreak. The White House has ordered intelligence agencies to compile evidence of a cover up.
President Trump has also halted U.S. funding to the WHO after accusing the organization of mishandling the outbreak and parroting Chinese propaganda regarding the coronavirus. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have urged Democratic colleagues to investigate the WHO’s ties to China.