The World Health Organization on Wednesday appointed 26 scientists to a new advisory team to study the origins of the coronavirus, and to open another chapter on a comprehensive study of how the epidemic began.
The team, selected from more than 700 applicants, includes scientists from 26 countries, which is a testament to W.H.O’s efforts to garner widespread international support for this work.
Among them are an American researcher – Dr. Inger Damon, a veteran of the country’s Ebola response who directs work on deadly diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and a Chinese scientist. Chinese scientist, Dr. Yungui Yang, deputy director at the Beijing Institute of Genomics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is a government institution.
Inger K. Damon of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of 26 scientists named W.H.O. in the new coronavirus counseling group.
With this new group, W.H.O. attempts to renew its study of the origins of the epidemic. That work was tied to a political dispute between China and the United States, and concerns about scientific disputes since W.H.O. sent the previous team to China in early 2021.
The result of the trip was a joint report by a WHO-China delegation that the coronavirus leak in the laboratory, when possible, was “unlikely,” concluding that WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was later summoned.
Six members of what was dissolved by WH.O. The team has joined a new advisory team. The committee also includes the head of the Swiss Biodiversity Protection Center, which is an indication of W.O.’s efforts. to ensure that laboratory leaks are considered and the circumstances in which the virus was naturally spread from animals to humans.
“The risk of the laboratory cannot be ruled out until there is sufficient evidence to do so and those results are shared,” said Dr. Tedros and two senior W.H.O. Officials wrote in the Science program explaining the authority of the advisory group.
After a two-week public comment period that is a tradition before W.H.O. advisory groups are formed, the committee will begin to meet.
WHO. Officials say the group will review the latest studies, including those describing bats that keep close relatives of the virus after Covid-19 and advise the organization on what future studies are needed – which could include research done in China.
China has reacted angrily to the idea that the virus may have originated in the workplace and, analysts have said, it will likely reject foreign requests to visit research centers, bat caves, or wildlife farms within its borders.
Unlike the last W.H.O. the team, organized specifically for a visit to China, the new committee will also have the authority to test the visibility of any new viruses other than coronavirus, permanently awarding them the W.H.O. hopes will help prevent it from becoming a political issue.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of W.H.O. According to the Health Emergency Plan, it is impossible to ignore issues such as “national pride” on the coronavirus. However, he said the new advisory team was an attempt to get back to science issues in the context of that effort.
“This is our best opportunity,” he said. “And it would be our last chance to understand the origins of this virus in collaboration and collaboration and collaboration.”