Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Prognosis

WHO Origin Hunters Push Back as Report Assailed On All Sides

  • Review provides greater insight about outbreak’s early days
  • Politics shadow the effort to find the origins of coronavirus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press briefing at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press briefing at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11.

Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Updated on

Nearly three dozen scientists vetted by the World Health Organization and the Chinese government gathered in Wuhan, China, early this winter to start the arduous task of finding the origins of Covid-19 and determining how it spread like wildfire around the world.

Six weeks after that trip, the working group this week delivered an analysis that laid out four possible scenarios and recommended next steps for digging deeper to find the pandemic’s genesis. The 123-page report, and a nearly 200-page supplement, was immediately engulfed by criticism, with a dozen nations including the U.S., the U.K. and Japan questioning its structure and insights.