WHO Leader Describes 'Premature Push' to Dismiss COVID-19 Lab Leak Theory

Headline Roundup July 16th, 2021

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday at a press conference that there was a “premature push” to dismiss the COVID-19 lab leak theory without sufficient evidence. Tedros also called on China to be more transparent as health officials search for evidence of the pandemic's origins. The theory that the pandemic began with a labaratory leak in Wuhan, China was ruled out early in the pandemic as a debunked conspiracy by many Democratic leaders, public health officials and mainstream media outlets; former President Donald Trump and others on the right maintained that the scenario was possible. The theory has gained mainstream traction in recent months as scientists and officials have revisited evidence supporting the hypothesis, and as no "smoking gun" evidence for the pandemic's genesis has emerged.

Many right-rated outlets highlighted Tedros' comments prominently on Friday, often while framing both China and the mainstream media in a negative light; many also focused on Tedros' remarks that “it’s common" for lab accidents to happen. His statements were also covered by several center-rated sources, including the Associated Press and Insider. As of Friday morning, no left-rated outlets published original reporting on Tedros' comments; some, including Washington Post (Lean Left) and Los Angeles Times (Lean Left), republished the AP's story.

From the Center
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The World Health Organization (WHO) chief said on Thursday that there was a “premature push” to rule out the COVID-19 lab leak theory without enough evidence.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged to reporters during a briefing that the theory that COVID-19 originated from a lab is possible, in remarks that strayed from the WHO’s controversial report designating the hypothesis as “extremely unlikely.”

Tedros cited his experience as a lab technician and immunologist, saying that “lab accidents happen” and “it’s common,” so “checking what happened, especially in our labs,” is...

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From the Right
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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday that it was “premature” to rule out the possibility that COVID-19 could have emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China, without sufficient evidence.

Walking back on a March WHO report that designated the COVID-19 lab leak theory hypothesis as “extremely unlikely,” Tedros said that based on his experience as a lab technician and immunologist, “lab accidents happen.”

“I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,” Tedros told reporters. “It’s common.”

In recent months, the theory that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus was the result of a leak...

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From the Right
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The head of the World Health Organization said it was “premature” to rule out the possibility that the novel coronavirus leaked from a laboratory, in comments to reporters on Thursday.

The WHO is “asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic,” director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference. Tedros said there had been a “premature push” to rule out a lab leak as the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was...

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