WHO investigator says China refused to hand over key data on early COVID-19 cases
World Health Organization investigators are saying that China refused to hand over key data on early coronavirus cases during their four-week long investigation of the origins of the virus in China.
The investigators said Chinese authorities would not let them look at data from 174 coronavirus cases in the country from December 2019 to study the origins of the virus, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“They showed us a couple of examples, but that’s not the same as doing all of them, which is standard epidemiological investigation,” a member on the WHO team during the mission, Dominic Dwyer, said. “So then, you know, the interpretation of that data becomes more limited from our point of view, although the other side might see it as being quite good.”
WHO noted that other countries have let it see raw data during its investigations.
WHO possibly found evidence that the coronavirus started before the original date given by Chinese authorities of Dec. 8, 2019. However, it is hard to confirm due to China’s lack of transparency.
China claims there is no evidence of earlier cases in their investigations, but won’t let WHO members look at the original data, WSJ reported.
Although Beijing has claimed they have been transparent with their coronavirus data, some experts question whether or not the data Chinese officials are providing is accurate.
The lack of data is preventing the WHO from doing its own investigation and possibly finding that the coronavirus was spreading earlier than originally believed.