1/ Having read the int’l cttee/Chinese gov’t #COVID19 origins report & watched the @WHO presser, it’s clear 1) the report is fatally flawed, 2) there’s currently no credible int’l investigation into pandemic origins, & 3) we desperately need one. Follow this thread for more.
2/ The core problem is clearly structural. The int’l team saw its task as finding a zoonotic source of animal transition in the wild, not seeking the actual source of the pandemic. There’s a big difference. They set out to prove one hypothesis, not fairly examine all of them.
3/ That’s why no one at @WHO fully recognized the massive CoI that 4 int’l committee members had prior working relationships with the #Wuhan Institute of Virology. Surprised the team took #ShiZhengli at her word rather than actually investigating?
4/ The int’l team bent over backwards trying to validate the zoonotic jump and frozen food theses but didn’t lift a finger to seriously consider the lab leak hypothesis, I’m guessing out of fear their Chinese gov’t hosts would stop tossing them table scraps if offended.
5/ It has always been my view that we need a full & unrestricted int’l forensic investigation into all origin hypotheses, including lab leak, with full access to all relevant records, samples, & personnel. Any process that does not explore all options cannot be credible.
6/ @Peterfoodsafety admitted that the joint mission remit did not include exploring a possible lab leak. So how could they possibly have determined a lab leak was “highly unlikely” w/o the most basic of examination and with no access to relevant resources? It doesn’t make sense.
7/ I’ve called the join study process non-credible because it’s examining some hypotheses but not others & using different evidentiary standards for different theories. Absurd to say there’s no evidence for lab leak when charging forward on zoonosis & cold chain w/o evidence.
8/ As we stated in our open letter, the int’l community should be fully examining all origin hypotheses, regardless of the political or other sensitivities. int.nyt.com/data/documentt…
9/ The joint team determined what hypotheses were more credible than others by a show of hands. Anyone believe the Chinese scientists could've raised their hands for a lab leak with so many party apparatchiks in the room? Let’s ask #ChenQiushi & #ZhangZhan.
10/ The int’l committee argument refuting the lab leak hypothesis rests on #SheZhengli’s claims 1) the WIV didn't have #SARSCoV2 or a backbone virus & 2) there was no Chinese military activity in WIV. If either false, the case against lab leak collapses. dailycaller.com/2021/03/23/shi…
11/ That’s why the US gov’t must release the evidence supporting its assertion that PLA was conducting secret animal research at WIV. US intelligence rightly fears another Iraq intel disaster, but it doesn’t need to prove how the pandemic began, just a military role at the WIV.
12/ That members of the int’l team trust China isn't a scientifically valid argument against the possibility of a lab leak. We need a full investigation, but China has destroyed samples, hidden records, imprisoned journalists & imposed a universal gag order on Chinese scientists.
13/ The hero of the day was clearly @DrTedros , who brilliantly protected the credibility of the @WHO. As a strong supporter of Tedros and the WHO, I was delighted to see this.
14/ @DrTedros: “scientists would benefit from full access to data including biological samples from at least September 2019.” Yes! We also need all the relevant lab notes & virus databases. We need whistleblower protections & confidential conversations with scientists.
15/ @DrTedros: “I expect future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.” That is essential. A Chinese coverup & the limited sharing of culled data is anything but comprehensive. We need full & unrestricted access to all relevant resources.
16/ @DrTedros: “I do not believe that this assessment [of a laboratory incident] was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions.” Exactly. There was no meaningful examination at all.
17/ @DrTedros: The possibility of a laboratory leak “requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.” This is huge and courageous. All critics of @WHO should recognize the significance of this.
18/ @DrTedros: “Let me say clearly that as far as WHO is concerned all hypotheses remain on the table.” We must remember that the joint study team is not the @WHO. If we want this kind of full investigation, we’ve got to make that happen.
19/ One path to a full investigation would be to revise the current ToRs to allow for an unrestricted forensic investigation. We could also try for a new World Health Assembly resolution or UN mandate. China will try to block these, but our starting point must be what’s required.
20/ That’s why I strongly support the call today by #US, #Japan & others for a "transparent & independent analysis & evaluation, free from interference & undue influence.” These gov’ts should now set up a parallel, coordinated, & complementary investigation process of their own.
21/ The tragedy is that over a yr after the pandemic began, with millions dead & billions disrupted, there’s no credible int’l pandemic origins investigation. Because our future safety depends on understanding how this tragedy began & our ensuing failures, that should terrify us.
22/ You can learn more at this link. jamiemetzl.com/origins-of-sar…

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More from @JamieMetzl

23 Mar
1/ A number of media organizations have reached out to me re my question to #SheZhengli earlier today abt whether the Chinese military was doing secret research at the #Wuhan Institute of Virology & her emphatic answer that it most certainly was not. Follow this thread for more.
2/ Dr. Shi said today that there was no Chinese military activity at the WIV. The US government finding released January 15 asserts that there was. Both of these claims cannot simultaneously be true. @ODNIgov @StateDept @Chinamission2un 2017-2021.state.gov/ensuring-a-tra…
3/ If #ShiZhengli is correct, the credibility of the US @StateDept & @ODNIgov wld be undermined significantly. If the US gov't is correct, then all of Dr. Shi's claims regarding WIV research & the absence of SARS-CoV-2 or precursor viruses in WIV repositories wld be in doubt.
Read 7 tweets
23 Mar
Let me get this straight. The Chinese gov't says it can't share anonymized data about the origins of the pandemic due to privacy concerns while the same gov't is forcibly extracting genetic samples from #Uighurs, #Tibetans, etc. Hmmm. news.cgtn.com/news/2021-03-1…
The collection of genetic data in #China "is being done without consent because citizens living in an authoritarian state have virtually no right to refuse." If anonymized data can be shared safely in democracies it can be shared safely everywhere. nytimes.com/2020/06/17/wor…
I encourage you to read this excellent report on genomic surveillance in #China, written by @ASPI_org. aspi.org.au/report/genomic…
Read 4 tweets
4 Mar
1/ Honored to have co-led a process bringing together experts from around the world calling for a full & unrestricted int'l forensic investigation into the origins of #COVID19. Here's a copy of the open letter we released today. s.wsj.net/public/resourc…
2/ The joint "investigation" by the WHO-appointed independent experts and the Chinese government may unearth useful tidbits, but it's structurally not capable of carrying out the full investigation that's required.
3/ @Peterfoodsafety @MarionKoopmans & the other @WHO appointed independent experts are in a real bind: a consensus report with the Chinese gov't can't be fully credible but an honest and full report couldn't get Chinese gov't sign off.
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
26/ Because Twitter threads only go up to 25, this thread is the continuation of my last on the origins of #COVID19, the @WHO, @mattpottinger, @jakejsullivan etc. Please read that before this chain, if you can.
27/ This process puts the @WHO at risk just when we need it most. However the pandemic began, making sure the entire global population is vaccinated via #COVAX is essential to the safety of everyone on earth.
28/ That’s why we need to help rescue @WHO from the likely train wreck of the #COVID19 investigation. We need to renegotiate terms of reference for a full and unrestricted forensic investigation.
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
1/ If you haven’t seen @MattPottinger’s interview on @facethenation, I strongly encourage you to do so at this link. Follow this full thread for my response.
2/ @MattPottinger is someone I respect greatly. His efforts to try to do the right thing within the chaos & malfeasance of the #Trump White House is nothing short of heroic. I urge you to learn more about Matt’s work in this excellent @newyorker piece. newyorker.com/magazine/2021/…
3/ In @MattPottinger’s @facethenation interview, he rightly rakes China over the coals. It's my view the #COVID19 catastrophe would likely not have happened but for the failure of the Chinese government rooted in the distinct pathologies of China’s authoritarian system.
Read 32 tweets

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