Virologist Koopmans: WHO chief ‘thrown us in front of the bus’

Virologist Koopmans: WHO chief 'thrown us in front of the bus'

“We tested it like this: we get thrown in front of a bus,” Koopmans says today in the Zembla research programme. The person you say did this is Tedros Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization.

Lab

When Koopmans and the WHO team spent four weeks in China earlier this year conducting research, the theory was also examined that the coronavirus would come from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan. According to the team, this theory was “extremely unlikely” and does not merit further investigation.

Ghebreyesus later called that conclusion “premature” in a press conference that followed, even going against his team. “We had an insightful conversation,” Koopmans says now. “I was so pissed off.”

Next steps

Koopmans says the investigation into the origin of the virus has stalled without result, although a list of recommendations for further research was ready in February. Have not yet taken the beginning of the next step. This is sad.” It was announced last month that a new team from the World Health Organization will go to China again with Koopmans.

The origin of the virus has been caught up in a political battle between the United States and China. Donald Trump, the former US president, has often referred to the virus as the “Chinese virus.” His successor, Joe Biden, also asked his security services to investigate the laboratory theory, while China claimed that the virus was actually manufactured in the United States.

Koopmans now describes it as “naive” that she thought the truth would emerge in China with such interests. “Anyway, I underestimated focusing so incredibly on this task, I really underestimated it. But I think it would be too bad if things like this couldn’t be done anymore because of this political controversy, then we’re very far away.” about home.”

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Deal with the Chinese

The WHO team’s conclusions have recently become more controversial. In a recent documentary, Ben Mubarak, the team leader, said a deal had been made with a Chinese delegation from the team. He wanted not to mention the lab theory at all.

In the end it was agreed to cite the theory, but it will be immediately emphasized that there is no need for further research. Koopmans says he knows nothing of a potential deal. “That’s something we’ve all been surprised at, because that’s not something we’ve heard.”

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