China will analyze hundreds of thousands of blood samples from Wuhan as part of a new investigation into the origins of the pandemic.
China is poised to launch a blood test blitz in a new effort to uncover the origins of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
According to CNN, a Chinese official has confirmed Beijing’s plans to test up to tens of thousands of blood donation samples taken from Wuhan, where the virus originated in 2019.
It comes after a team of researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) said in February that the backlog of samples could be crucial in discovering how and exactly when the virus emerged.
Samples have been stored at the Wuhan Blood Center for the past two years for legal reasons, but that waiting period will expire for samples collected in October and November 2019 in the coming weeks, which experts say is when the virus began to spread. .
There is also hope that the samples could reveal the first examples of human-made antibodies against Covid-19.
“This provides the closest samples in the world that we have seen in real time to help us understand the timing of the outbreak,” Yanzhong Huang, senior global health researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN.
Meanwhile, Maureen Miller, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told the organization that the samples “will absolutely contain vital clues,” but said China should allow foreign experts to participate in the testing process for credibility and reasons. transparency.
The potential breakthrough comes after US President Joe Biden ordered a 90-day review of the origins of the virus on May 26 this year.
The purpose of that research was to find out if the notion that the virus escaped via a lab leak, which was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory, had any credibility, or if the virus occurred naturally.
Ultimately, the US review was inconclusive, and the researchers were unable to rule out either scenario.
However, after receiving a classified version of the report, President Biden pointed out China’s lack of transparency during the course of the pandemic.
“There is critical information about the origins of this pandemic in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international researchers and members of the global public health community from accessing it.” , said.
Serious doubts have also been raised regarding China’s timeline, and the head of the Chinese team working on the WHO investigation, Liang Wannian, said earlier this year that while the first official case in Wuhan was recorded on 8 December 2019, “Our research and related previous research work by Chinese scientists strongly suggests … December 8 is probably not the main case. There may be other cases that happened before. “
In an explosive new book by Sky’s Sharri Markson, What really happened in Wuhan, that timeline is further questioned, with a Wuhan doctor revealing that high school classes in the city would mysteriously close in early November, something that would never happen from a simple flu outbreak.
In December, comments about the new disease in Wuhan were being removed from social media, and health workers were also prohibited from speaking and facing severe punishment if they shared information about the disease.
And on January 1, 2020, the first crucial samples taken from sick Wuhan residents were destroyed “under the strict orders of the Chinese government, which sought to cover up news of the emerging virus.”
In recent months, there have been growing calls around the world for a deeper investigation into the virus, how it emerged, and the potential role China played in covering up the spread, in order to prevent future tragedies.