By William J. Broad
With new attention on the origins of the coronavirus, experts and officials on Sunday called on China to provide greater transparency and speed inquiries into whether the devastating pandemic began with a leak from a lab.
“There’s going to be Covid-26 and Covid-32 unless we fully understand the origins of Covid-19,” Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, said on the NBC program “Meet the Press.”
WATCH: Dr. Peter Hotez says it's "absolutely essential" to investigate Covid-19's origin. #[email protected]: "There's going to be Covid-26 and Covid-32 unless we fully understand the origins of Covid-19." pic.twitter.com/hWKfAA7diV
Last Wednesday, President Biden ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to “redouble their efforts” to find out where the virus originated, giving them 90 days to examine two theories: that the virus was accidentally leaked from a lab in China or that it was first transmitted from animal to humans outside a lab. Suspicions have focused on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which long gathered bat viruses and whose laboratories conducted experiments on them. It is based in the city where the coronavirus first emerged.
An investigation this year by the World Health Organization largely dismissed the possibility that the virus escaped from the institute, but many critics faulted the effort as lacking the wide access necessary to determine its origins.
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