When Koopmans was in Wuhan at the beginning of this year to conduct research for the World Health Organization, there was still room for debate about the so-called laboratory theory, which posits that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. “We had some real discussions, including some detailed questions. That door is now closed.”
According to the virologist at Erasmus MC, the WHO is also responsible for the resulting impasse, by publicly claiming the need for a follow-up study after the previous research. “WHO’s focus on this really got it wrong. Now it’s lost access. You can hope that China is still making it happen, but it’s very difficult to assess from a distance.”
Koopmans hopes there’s still something to fix behind the scenes. “What is said at a press conference is not necessarily what happens behind the scenes. I think it would be a shame to make a political discussion of a very important topic actually impossible. That way you would actually be empty-handed.”
The situation in the Netherlands
In the conversation, Koopmans also discussed the current coronavirus infection numbers in the Netherlands. According to her, the measures seem to be having an effect. “I’m seeing the parameters go down. I’m a little worried about DDoS attacks, because I’m wondering if the numbers are right? But the trend is in the right direction.”
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