The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to address several “unintended errors” found in its report with China on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, months after the study's initial release.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic confirmed to The Washington Post that it would be addressing “editing errors,” found in its report, but noted that the issues did not affect “the data analysis process, nor the conclusions.”
Specifically, the organization said it would be altering the virus sequence IDs for three of the 13 earliest patients listed in the March WHO report.
The organization also told the Post that it will clarify that the first family cluster of COVID-19 cases was not tied to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.
When asked by the Post why the March report showed the first COVID-19 case on the side of the Yangtze River opposite to what the Wuhan government had announced in 2020, Jasarevic said this discrepancy was not relevant to the overall conclusions of the report, explaining “the current first known patient is most probably not the first case.”
Jasarevic said that the genome sequences “will undergo thorough revision,” adding, “The numbers might have been updated during the continued process of submission and publishing.”
When reached for comment by The Hill, Jasarevic said the WHO had no additional information to provide beyond what was included in the Post report.
The news follows criticism of the report and questions on its accuracy, with more attention now being given to the previously disputed theory that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, rather than the suspected situation that the virus was transferred to humans an animal market in Wuhan.
May reporting from The Wall Street Journal found that a U.S. intelligence report revealed that several researchers at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized after experiencing flu-like symptoms in November 2019, just before COVID-19 began spreading across China and around the world.
The March 30 joint WHO-China report was also criticized by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said the study was “an important beginning” but that it failed to find the source of the virus.
Critics have also pointed to the delay of the report, released more than a year after the virus began, as well as limited access to Chinese data.
On Wednesday, a group of moderate House Democrats called for the creation of a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the pandemic’s origins.
President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE has also directed the U.S. intelligence community to investigate the initial spread of COVID-19, requesting that a report be delivered by August.