• Liang Wannian, head of the expert Covid-19 panel at China’s National Health Commission, said that ongoing research into the origins of the virus must focus on how it spread in animals before it infected humans.
  • Scientists have been working in Wuhan, China, for the past four weeks to try to find out where the Covid-19 pandemic came from.
  • The investigators went to hospitals, labs, and markets, such as the Huanan Seafood Market, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control laboratory.

‘A research-related incident is consistent with the early epidemiology showing rapid spread of the virus in Wuhan, with the earliest calls for assistance being located in the near the (Wuhan Institute of Virology) WIV’s original campus in central Wuhan’ (Picture: Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions)

COVID-19 has killed more than a million people in the United States, and it has killed tens of millions of people around the world. Over the past three years, we have seen the social, educational, and economic costs of a global pandemic, as well as the sad loss of life.
As part of our work on pandemic preparedness and response programmers, Chair Murray and Richard Burr, United States Senator, Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions announced last summer that the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee would look into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still working together on this project.

This is a temporary report made by the staff of the HELP Committee Minority Oversight. The goal was to look at publicly available, open-source information to look at the two main ideas about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus got started: a natural zoonotic outbreak or an accident that happened during research. This Minority Oversight Staff Report from the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee is the result of that review.

Over the past fifteen months, the staff of the HELP Committee Minority Oversight carefully looked over hundreds of scientific studies that were available to the public. They also talked to dozens of experts in the field and analysed previous reports and studies about where the virus might have come from. I think this report adds a lot to the body of evidence we already have and helps set standards for how future studies should be reviewed.

People’s Republic of China government and public health officials aren’t being open and working together to find out where SARS-CoV-2 came from, so it’s hard to come to a more solid conclusion.

Since COVID-19 is still around, it is important that international efforts to find out more about where this deadly virus came from continue. I hope that the World Health Organization and other international institutions and researchers will use this report as a guide as they move forward with their plans to find out where this virus came from. Finding the answer to this important question is crucial to making sure that a pandemic of this size and scope doesn’t happen again on a national and international level.

With this report, my main goal is to give a clearer picture of what we know so far about where SARS-CoV-2 came from so that we can keep working together.

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