The probe, which also considered whether the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus could have accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology that had been studying coronavirus spread from bats to humans, was carried out by local authorities and not WHO investigators, Metzl told Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle” on Feb. 10.
Metzl’s comments came just days after Peter Embarek, a Danish scientist who led the WHO mission, said it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab. He said that bats were a more likely source.
“The laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population,” Embarek said on Feb. 9. “Therefore, [it] is not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies.”
Peter Ben Embarek and Marion Koopmans, members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, sit on a bus as they leave their quarantine hotel in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on Jan. 28, 2021. (Reuters/Thomas Peter)
Metzl, who is also a senior fellow at the Atlanta Council, said he was critical of this recommended outcome from the WHO mission, which he said was challenged due to the WHO’s need to “balance big power politics.”
The WHO is “created, funded, and controlled by states,” he told Laura Ingraham.. It’s “in a really tough position.”
“The investigation itself was very short,” he added. “It was two weeks of quarantine and two weeks of meetings, but the actual investigation was done by Chinese authorities. And so, the W.H.O. investigators were basically receiving reports from the Chinese officials.
“As I see it, the big failure is that they outlined four possible ways that COVID could have begun,” Metzl said. “One was direct bat to human. Second, bat through an animal, intermediate host. Third, through shipping or some kind of frozen food from somewhere else. And four, the accidental lab leak.
“As you know, Laura, for more than a year, I’ve been one of the leading advocates saying we have to look very, very seriously at option four.
“But rather than saying, alright, let’s look more deeply at all of those possibilities, the W.H.O. investigators said we should look at the first three, but not at the accidental lab leak. And I’m just miffed that this has happened. I think it’s really terrible.
“Most of us don’t exactly how COVID began. But certainly, an accidental lab leak is a very, very credible possibility.”
The WHO’s Wuhan visit was heavily controlled by the CCP, with journalists kept well away amid the absence of a publicly available full itinerary.
Embarek told Science Mag on Feb. 14 that “politics was always in the room” during the mission and at any given time, the visiting scientists were accompanied by between “30 and 60 Chinese colleagues,” with a large number of them not scientists or from the public health sector.
.@Peterfoodsafety says @WHO #COVID19 investigators had “between 30 & 60 Chinese colleagues” with them w/ “a large number… not from the public health sector… politics was there constantly.” An investigation controlled by commissars not credible. https://t.co/87mfgPueCf
— Jamie Metzl (@JamieMetzl) February 14, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz previously criticized the WHO for parroting the CCP’s narrative that COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, couldn’t have initially spread from a Wuhan lab.
“Shameful. At the outset of the pandemic, the WHO acted as a propagandist for communist China, echoing the CCP’s lies,” the Texas Republican said on Twitter on Feb. 10. “Now, the WHO concludes that the virus did not accidentally escape from a Wuhan govt lab because … the CCP told them it didn’t.”
In a separate interview with Fox News, Cruz accused the WHO of echoing “lies from the Chinese Communist government,” instead of “stepping in as medical professionals.”
Cruz alleged that the WHO assisted the Chinese regime in covering up the start of the Wuhan epidemic toward the end of 2019, which led to a lack of action to prevent international travel out of Wuhan, resulting in a full-blown pandemic.
On Feb. 11, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appeared to walk back on the claim by the leader of the WHO team that the Wuhan Institute of Virology should not be investigated as a potential source of the virus, saying that more investigation is needed.
“Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded,” he told reporters. “I want to clarify that all hypotheses remain open and require further study.”
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 6, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)
The U.S. State Department has claimed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting research on viruses similar to the CCP virus as early as 2016. The regime has been secretive about the research and the State Department is demanding transparency.
“WHO investigators must have access to the records of the WIV’s work on bat and other coronaviruses before the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of a thorough inquiry, they must have a full accounting of why the WIV altered and then removed online records of its work with RaTG13 and other viruses,” the department said.
The WHO team has said it could take years for health experts to fully understand the origins of the CCP virus.
The WHO didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
Eva Fu contributed to this report.