The White House on Tuesday accused China of hampering the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and demanded Beijing be more “transparent” by providing greater access to data about the initial outbreak in late 2019.
The joint report from a W.H.O. team and Chinese scientists, released on Tuesday, was inconclusive, but surmised that the pandemic most likely began from animal-to-human transmission and began widely circulating in the city of Wuhan, China, as Chinese officials have long asserted.
Some observers, including Robert Redfield, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have questioned that theory, arguing that the virus might have originated in a government lab, although U.S. intelligence officials have said they do not have evidence to determine where the virus came from.
“The report lacks crucial data information and access — it represents a partial and incomplete picture,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said at a news conference on Tuesday, adding that Chinese officials “have not been transparent, they have not provided underlying data.”
“transparent and independent analysis” of the origins of the virus free from “undue influence.”
At times, Ms. Psaki intermingled her criticism of Beijing with skepticism about the W.H.O.’s investigation, and the value of Tuesday’s report.
“It doesn’t lead us to any closer of an understanding or greater knowledge than we had six to nine months ago about the origin,” she said. “It also doesn’t provide guidelines or steps, recommended steps, on how we should prevent this from happening in the future. And those are imperative.”
new international treaty to protect the world from future pandemics.
“We do have some concerns primarily about the timing and launching into negotiations for a new treaty right now,” Ms. Psaki said, “and we believe that could divert attention away from substantive issues regarding the response preparedness for future pandemic threats.”