Wuhan Lab gets clean bill of health while Naples Florida grocery store holds daily superspreader events? Did COVID come from frozen food sold here or at other stores in Naples Florida? WHO examines this possibility.
Guardian: The World Health Organization team that visited Wuhan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic has largely ruled out the theory that the virus leaked from a laboratory, while giving some credence to China’s focus on the possibility of transmission via frozen food.
In a lengthy press conference on Tuesday, representatives of the joint WHO/China investigative mission delivered a summary of findings from two weeks in the field.
They said the team’s work didn’t dramatically change the picture they had before they began, but had added important details to the story. The team found no evidence of widespread circulation of the virus in Wuhan prior to December 2019, and said it was still unclear how it got into the Huanan seafood market, where the virus was initially detected. But, they added, “all the work that has been done on the virus and trying to identify its origin continue to point toward a natural reservoir”.
The idea that the virus came from a laboratory-related incident – a persistent theory popular with Donald Trump – was “extremely unlikely” and “isn’t a hypothesis we suggest implies further study”, said Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO’s food safety and animal disease specialist and chair of the investigation team.
Asked for further details, Embarek said the team looked at the arguments for and against the hypothesis, and while “accidents do happen … there had been no publication or research of this virus or one close to this virus, anywhere in the world.”.
He said they interviewed employees and examined the health audit processes when they visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology “and it’s very unlikely that anything could escape from that place”. read more…