W.H.O. Will Announce New Team to Study Coronavirus Origins

 W.H.O. Will Announce New Team to Study Coronavirus Origins

The new committee, known as the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens, will differ in several respects from the team that the W.H.O. sent to China. Because that team visited Wuhan, China had considerable influence over its membership. That is not the case for the new committee, a permanent panel that Dr. Van Kerkhove said would begin with frequent, closed-door meetings on the coronavirus.

In soliciting applications, the W.H.O. asked potential committee members for a statement about any conflicts of interest, in addition to a cover letter and résumé. That appeared to be an attempt to head off critics who complained that a member of the previous team, Peter Daszak, an animal disease specialist, was too closely tied to a Wuhan virology institute at the center of lab leak theories to offer a dispassionate assessment. Dr. Daszak has said that his expertise on China and coronaviruses made him well-suited to…

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