| 22 June 2021, Tuesday | النسخة العربية

A prominent American scientist warns of “Covid-26”

A prominent American epidemiologist called for a full investigation into the origin of the emerging corona virus, warning that the future of public health is at stake, adding his voice to the voices of an increasing number of experts demanding a deeper understanding of this issue.

“There will be Covid-26 and Covid-32 unless we fully understand the origins of Covid-19,” said Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics, virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine and a leading expert in viruses, according to what was quoted by the Washington Post .

In statements to “Meet The Press” on NBC, he stressed that reaching firm conclusions about how the virus appeared “is absolutely necessary” to prevent future epidemics.

New reports indicate that the Wuhan Chinese virus laboratory may have played a large role in spreading the infection that swept the world, and the virus was not transmitted from animal to human.

Last week, US President Joe Biden directed a new intelligence review for 90 days of the origin of the virus, with the aim of verifying the possibility of it accidentally leaking from the Wuhan laboratory instead of spreading it through bats or other animals to humans.

The White House wants a deeper understanding of how a virus emerged that has killed 600,000 Americans and 3.5 million people worldwide, and has tasked the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other agencies more to find out.

The American scientist, for his part, said, ccording to the New York Times  that the investigation may not lead to sufficient information because the United States has “pushed the intelligence information to the maximum extent possible.” He pointed out that the world needs new comprehensive scientific research.

He believed that an independent team of epidemiologists and virologists would need to work in China “for a period ranging from six months to a year” in order for the world to “decipher the origin” of the virus, and he said that the team would have to meet scientists there and examine laboratory records.

Asked whether it could be done without China’s cooperation, he replied in the negative, saying, “I think we have to put a lot of pressure on China,” including through sanctions to secure “unrestricted access” for the team of scientists.