G7 Leaders Will Call For New WHO Inquiry Into COVID Origins
President Joe Biden is abroad on his first European trip since his inauguration to attend the G7 summit. Unlike his predecessor, President Biden is not only welcome at the summit, but he initiated one of the biggest topics of discussion for the powerhouse group of world leaders.
Initiated by President Biden’s administration, those leaders at the G7 summit will now call for a new, transparent investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) into the origins of the coronavirus, according to a leaked draft memo for the meeting.
The call for the new investigation follows the President’s surprise decision to expand an investigation by the country’s intelligence agencies into the origins of the pandemic. Right-wing opponents have consistently blamed the virus origins on a Wuhan lab leak in order to scapegoat China for the mass deaths experienced worldwide.
Our weekly update covered the G7 meetings, community wealth building and levelling up, labour shortages in the US, the debate around UK public finances and more… pic.twitter.com/WuPeoowU8v
— Beyond Covid (@beyondcovid_) June 10, 2021
A broad consensus among scientific experts remains that the most likely explanation for the spread of the virus is that Covid-19 jumped to humans from an animal host in a natural event. An on-the-ground investigation by WHO experts earlier this year concluded it was “extremely unlikely” the pandemic began in a laboratory. However, some within intelligence circles have continued to push the theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Last month, in announcing his inquiry, President Biden said two elements of the US intelligence community believed the virus had a natural origin while a third leaned towards a lab leak.
The news comes just as a new COVID outbreak shuttered a hotel that the German delegation had been using as their home base for the summit.
Hotel near G7 summit boarded up due to COVID outbreak, security for German delegation among hotel guests https://t.co/BYIZ6NI6Fs
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 10, 2021
A US intelligence report leaked to the Wall Street Journal last month suggested that three staff members at the WIV lab were treated in hospital with an illness in November 2019, a month before the first cases were officially detected in Wuhan.
The G7 will also commit to providing one billion extra doses of the Covid-19 vaccine over the next year to accelerate global protection against the disease. Before his arrival at the summit, President Biden said the US would commit to buying 500 million doses for distribution to developing countries.
As @POTUS meets with @BorisJohnson today, the origins of #COVID is certain to be on the agenda. The British PM told @margbrennan in Feb: “One of the things we'll be calling for in the G7…is global coordination in getting to the bottom of what happens with these diseases.” pic.twitter.com/sx0Qsv7Q2Z
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 10, 2021