WHO chief Tedros: No dispositive evidence yet on COVID’s origin

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an interview that he will “keep pushing” on a COVID-19 origins investigation. (Photo credit: United Nations)

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that there is no proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” for one COVID-19 origin hypothesis or the other in a brief interview with U.S. Right to Know.

In an interview in Washington on Thursday, Tedros was asked about recent preprint publications claiming “dispositive” evidence that COVID-19 originated from animals sold at a wet market. Tedros replied that all hypotheses are still in play.

“All options are open. We have not found any evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to drop any of the hypotheses that we have,” he said. “All of the hypotheses are still in [WHO’s investigation].”

The two prevailing hypotheses are that COVID-19 naturally spilled over from live animals sold at a wet market or emerged from an accident at one of the labs studying coronaviruses at the pandemic’s epicenter in Wuhan, China. 

Tedros also said that there is a “moral obligation” to keep investigating. 

“We continue to push. Of course we should know the origins. One, for the science. If we know the origin, we can prevent the next [pandemic]. So it’s a must,” Tedros said. “Second, morally, we owe it to the millions who have died and the hundreds of millions whose lives have been affected.”

“So we will not stop pushing,” he continued. 

Tedros was at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in DC for World Health Day. 

Tedros also confirmed that he had discussed investigating COVID-19’s origins with U.S. officials during his visit. 

Written by Emily Kopp