Understanding the origins of the pandemic is essential to addressing our vulnerabilities and preventing future crises. Unfortunately, as outlined in previous open letters released on March 4 and April 7, structural, procedural, and analytical shortcomings of the WHO-convened joint study into COVID-19 origins have created unnecessary barriers to this understanding.
On March 30, 2021, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom made a number of important assertions following the release of the WHO-convened joint study report. These include:
• “I do not believe that [the joint’s team] assessment [of a possible lab incident] was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions… potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.”
• “As far as WHO is concerned all hypotheses remain on the table... We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science