The report is the result of a four-week mission to the Chinese city of Wuhan that happened in January and February. And the report said the possibility that the coronavirus originated from a leak at a laboratory was "extremely unlikely". "From what I've seen, there was nothing shocking and unexpected in there".
It said evidence suggested the Covid-19 outbreak may have begun several months before it was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019, and called for Covid antibody testing of samples in Wuhan blood banks from as far back as September that year.
The closest relative of the virus that causes Covid-19 has been found in bats, which are known to carry coronaviruses - but the report said "the evolutionary distance between these bat viruses and SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be several decades, suggesting a missing link".
The report was not public yet, he added.
"A link to the report will be available and sent to global media half an hour before the press briefing". It was conducted by a team made up of both worldwide and Chinese experts.
The report hints at some of the difficulties faced by World Health Organization investigators.
- Direct transmission - This hypothesis, deemed "possible to likely", assumes that SARS-CoV-2 jumped directly from the original host, likely a bat, to humans.
The report says introduction through cold food products is considered a "possible pathway" and introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be "an extremely unlikely pathway".
One theory examined was that the virus jumped directly from bats to humans.
Highly similar viruses have also been found in pangolins, suggesting cross-species transmission from bats at least once.
No matter what the report says, it is clear the Chinese government hijacked the WHO's probe, which was presumably run by a panel of puppet "investigators".
The early cases had been tied to the seafood market but the report could not definitively conclude whether it was the true origin of the virus.
The market was identified early in the pandemic as a likely incubator of SARS-CoV-2, resembling the spawning in Guangdong province in 2002 of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) - a bat-borne coronavirus that spread to civets and raccoon dogs before killing about 800 people.
The report noted that animal products, including everything from bamboo rats to deer, often frozen, were sold at the market, as were live crocodiles. The only American researcher on the team, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, admitted they did not investigate China's lack of transparency.
"There is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019, or genomes that in combination could provide a SARS-CoV-2 genome", it reads. The authors also said that the three laboratories working in Wuhan on coronaviruses and vaccines had high biosafety levels and there was no evidence of Covid spreading among workers there. "By doing this, isn't the US trying to exert political pressure on the members of the World Health Organization expert group?" Top Biden administration officials on Sunday expressed concern about the way the WHO-China report was crafted, including the possibility that the Chinese government had a hand in writing it.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently told CNN they have "real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into the report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it".
Finally, the report examined the idea of a lab leak from, for instance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology - a theory promoted by former United States president Donald Trump's administration.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, said he would like to see the report's raw information first before deciding about its credibility.
Beijing has suggested the virus may have arrived in China through refrigerated goods and has urged the World Health Organization to carry out investigations in other countries.
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