The U.S. should play a bigger role in getting to the bottom of the theory that Covid-19 first leaked from a virology lab in Wuhan, China, Atlantic Council senior fellow Jamie Metzl told CNBC on Monday.
“Right now the World Health Assembly is meeting and the United States should do everything possible with our allies to demand a full investigation into the origin of Covid with full access to all records, samples and staff in China and beyond,” said Metzl former national security officer in the Clinton administration, said in The News with Shepard Smith.
“If China wants to turn its nose to the rest of the world after more than 3 million deaths, let them make that statement,” he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the determination of the origin of Covid-19 is subject to an international investigation by the World Health Organization and that the U.S. cannot conduct its own investigation.
Metzl organized a group of scientists and academics last year to call for a deeper investigation into the origins of Covid. He told host Shepard Smith that finding answers to the causes of the pandemic was “vitally important” because if we do not, everyone would be “unnecessarily at risk”.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
A previously unpublished US intelligence report found that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were seeking treatment in hospital after an illness, “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday and quoted from the report.
The World Health Organization has repeatedly said that the virus most likely jumped from bats to humans through another animal. It has described the theory that the virus leaked from a laboratory as “extremely unlikely” but has not ruled it out. Metzl said he thought the theory was a “likely hypothesis”.
“Why should there be a bat coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan rather than southern China, where the horseshoe bats are located? And what we know is in Wuhan is China’s only level 4 virology institute with the largest in the world Collection of bats coronaviruses that did aggressive research to make these pathogens more dangerous, “Metzl said.