A World Health Organization official who is leading the international team behind an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus said Friday that the group’s full report will be issued in the coming days.
“You probably heard me say in the past that we were very close to finalizing the report, and I’m the first one to regret it’s not yet out,” WHO expert Peter Ben Embarek said during a press conference. “But it’s roughly now finalized.”
Team members discussed some of their findings in February – including that it is “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus originated in a lab – but the details of the report are highly anticipated.
Cartoons on the Coronavirus
“The content is now complete, and, frankly speaking, I expect that in the next few days that whole process will be completed, and we’ll be able to release it publicly,” Embarek said.
“It’s a very slow and complicated process to get it there,” he added, noting work happening across several time zones and in both Chinese in English languages.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that the Biden administration will examine the data behind the report before determining how to proceed. A State Department spokesman said in February that the U.S. would welcome WHO’s findings in an official report but that it will use the U.S. intelligence community to “reach our own conclusions.”
Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield recently told CNN that he believes the virus originated in a Chinese lab.
Leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci on Friday said that Redfield’s comments were just his opinion, noting that “there are other alternatives, others that most people hold by.”