It is necessary to launch
to discover the
of the SarsCoV2 virus because those made so far have not led to certainties: understanding how the new virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic has emerged can help fight similar threats in the future. Pending new data, the hypotheses that it
escaped from a laboratory
or is of
. This was written in a letter-appeal published in the journal Science 18 researchers from some of the leading research institutions and universities in the United States and Europe, including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Universities of Yale, Basel, and Stanford.
As of December 2019, the authors of the letter note, the scientific community has made great progress in determining many aspects of SarsCoV2, but the origins of the virus are still unclear: "theories of an accidental leak from a laboratory or a jump of species that occurred in nature
. Knowing how the Covid-19 pandemic emerged is however fundamental to adapt
capable of mitigating the risks of
The researchers are critical of the work that led to the joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) report, published in November 2020, which was aimed precisely at determining the origins of the virus. "Although there were no results to support either a natural species jump or a laboratory accident, the report rated the species jump from an intermediate host 'between probable to very likely' and a laboratory accident as' extremely unlikely. 'Furthermore, the two theories
were not considered in a balanced way
. Only 4 of the 313 pages of the report and its annexes addressed the possibility of a laboratory accident, "the letter reads.
Even the director general of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, had commented a few weeks ago that the attention of the report on the hypothesis of the accident was insufficient, so as to offer additional resources to better evaluate this possibility.
"It is necessary and feasible - continues the letter - to achieve
on the origins of this pandemic. We must take seriously both the hypothesis of a natural species leap and an escape from laboratories until we have sufficient data. "To do this, it is necessary to launch a new investigation that is" transparent, objective, based on data. , inclusive of various skills, subject to independent supervision and managed responsibly to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest. Likewise, public health agencies and research laboratories must open their archives to the public. "
In this historical period in which 'anti-Asian' sentiments have also emerged, it is important to emphasize, concludes the letter, that "at the beginning of the pandemic, it was Chinese doctors, scientists, journalists and citizens who shared crucial information on the spread of the viruses, often paid at a great personal cost. We should show the same determination in promoting a dispassionate science-based debate on this difficult but important issue.