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G7 Leaders Discussed The ‘Lab Leak’ Covid Origin Theory, WHO Chief Reveals

·Deputy Political Editor, HuffPost UK
·2-min read

G7 leaders discussed the theory that Covid-19 leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said leaders discussed the so-called “lab leak” theory during talks on Covid on Saturday.

It comes after a leaked draft communique for the summit seen by Bloomberg suggested G7 leaders will call for a new investigation into the origins of coronavirus.

Most experts believe that Covid jumped to humans from an animal host naturally.

But US president Joe Biden surprisingly last month decided to expand an American investigation into the virus’s origins, with one of the country’s intelligence agencies leaning towards the lab leak theory, while two others believe it had natural origin.

G7 leaders are likely to have discussed the theory Covid leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology at the instigation of Biden.

At a summit media briefing, Tedros was asked: “In today’s whole summit of the G7 did the origin of Covid come up, in particular the Wuhan lab leak theory?”

Tedros replied: “It was raised.

“We discussed... the origins.

“What we discussed was on the future and the challenges of sharing information, sharing data, sharing pathogens or in sharing biological materials and in sharing technology like vaccines.

“Now we are having vaccine equity problems and we are seeing a two-track pandemic - some countries are doing well while others are actually in trouble because of lack of access to vaccines.

“So we are going to address all these problems and address the origin issues for the future, we need to have a binding pandemic treaty so there will be rules of the game and we have countries abiding to laws and so we can have all the challenges we are facing now addressed.

“So the origins was discussed in relation to now, but more in relation to how this should be handled in the future.”

Scientists work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Photo: Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Scientists work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Photo: Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Tedros meanwhile urged China to be more transparent when the WHO begins the second phase of its Covid origins inquiry.

“More than 174m people have been confirmed [with] Covid illness, this is actually an underestimate, it could be more,” he said.

“And so far 3.75m people have died.

“This is very tragic and I think the respect these people deserve is knowing what the origin of this virus is so that we can prevent it from happening again.

“The origin study is something the WHO takes really seriously.

“We are preparing for the second phase.

“We will need cooperation from the Chinese side, we need transparency in order to understand or find the origin of this virus.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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