CDC chief says laboratory origin of Covid is ‘a possibility’, but animal host is most common – fr

CDC chief says laboratory origin of Covid is ‘a possibility’, but animal host is most common – fr

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to consider the Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Jim Lo Scalzo | AFP | Getty Images
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not rule out the fact that Covid-19 could have come from a laboratory on Wednesday, saying it was “certainly” “a possibility”.
Most coronaviruses, however, “usually come from an animal origin,” Walensky said in Senate testimony after noting that she had not seen enough data to give her opinion on the origin of the pandemic. current.

The remarks by the Biden administration’s senior health official came amid growing calls to investigate whether the virus was of zoonotic or animal origin or originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The World Health Organization said in a report in March that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus was introduced into humans through an accidental lab leak. But that finding has been heavily criticized, and other scientists have since called for more investigation.

“The theories of accidental lab release and zoonotic fallout both remain viable,” said a letter from 18 scientists published in the journal Science last week. Other scientists criticized the letter for establishing a false equivalence between the likelihood of a lab leak and a naturally occurring scenario, The New York Times reported.

The CDC’s website currently says that although the exact source of the outbreak is unknown, “we know it originally came from an animal, possibly a bat. ”
Covid-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.

The origin of the virus has also become a hot topic in US politics.

At Wednesday’s hearing on the CDC’s budget for the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., Asked Walensky for his opinion on where the pandemic started.

“I don’t think I saw enough data, individual data for me to comment on this,” Walensky said.

Asked about the possibilities, Walensky said: “Certainly the possibilities that most of the coronaviruses we know of are of origin, which have infected the population – SARS CoV-1, MERS – are generally of animal origin. “

Kennedy replied, “Are there other possibilities? “

“Laboratory origin is definitely a possibility,” Walensky said.


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