In hopes of uncovering the origin of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) led an global investigation to Wuhan, which produced a report indicating that "SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have had a zoonotic origin... a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely" by the end of March. The report, written jointly with Chinese scientists, also said that the CCP virus likely spread via an animal.
Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told CNBC on Monday that growing circumstantial evidence point toward a possible laboratory origin, pointing to reports of the researchers at the Wuhan lab having fallen ill in November 2019.
The previous coronaviruses that infect humans, SARS and MERS, quickly traced back to civets and camels. And that's something we've called for many, many times.
"The question for a lot of people is going to be when are too many coincidences too much?" he asked.
In his address, Becerra did not mention China directly, but his remarks came days after a Wall Street Journal report in which USA intelligence officials are quoted saying three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the central Chinese city of Wuhan sought hospital care in November 2019, several weeks before China acknowledged the first case of the new highly infectious disease in the community.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, in remarks to the 74th World Health Assembly, a virtual event, called for the WHO to launch a "transparent" second phase to the investigation.
The organization concluded it was "extremely unlikely" that it was caused by a lab leak, but noted that further investigation is needed.
Beijing dismissed the journal's report as "not at all true".
On Tuesday, the United States and other countries called for a more in-depth probe into the pandemic's origins, after an global mission to China earlier this year proved inconclusive.
A long-delayed report by a team of experts dispatched by the World Health Organization to Wuhan and their Chinese counterparts drew no firm conclusions on the origins of the pandemic.
"Look, I do think it's important to remember that part of the issue back when this was first being reported on and discussed back ... when the pandemic had begun, then-President Trump and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, both suggested they had seen evidence this was formed in a lab, and they also suggested it was not released on goal, but they refused to release the evidence showing what it was", Haberman said on CNN on Tuesday.
'For nearly 18 months, health and care workers all over the world have stood in the breach between life and death, ' WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the opening of the organisation's main annual assembly.
"We must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data", a group of researchers from top United States universities wrote in a letter published by the journal Science in mid-May.
Meanwhile, the deadly Covid-19 virus has affected over 165 million people worldwide and killed more that 3.5 million people so far.
"It was obvious to me from the beginning, but as always I was badly criticized". "Now they are all saying: 'He was right'".
However, many experts are still cautious.
"But we don't know 100 percent the answer to that".
Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had previously stated the US had significant evidence to indicate the virus had leaked from the lab.