The US State Department said Friday night that it had “reason to believe” the scholars Wuhan, ChinaThey might have had b Corona Virus In the fall of 2019, however, Beijing has worked hard to prevent a transparent investigation into the origins of the virus.
at Declaration, The agency indicated that it believed that many researchers within the Wuhan Institute of Virology had developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases.
“The [Chinese Communist Party] Independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities were barred from interviewing researchers at WIV, including those who were sick in the fall of 2019. “The US State Department said,“ Any credible investigation into the origin of the virus should include interviews with these researchers and a full account. Of their previously unreported illness. “
The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019 – China confirmed on December 31 that it was treating a virus similar to pneumonia.
The first death was reported on January 11.
in March , South China Morning Post He said the first person who had the disease may have contracted it on November 17, 2019.
By late March, the United States had more confirmed cases than any other country.
The US government said there remains a lot of unknown about COVID-19, including whether the outbreak began by contact with infected animals or from a lab accident. The State Department indicated that an accidental laboratory infection caused the outbreak in China.
The ruling Communist Party keeps tight control over information, and is particularly concerned about potential revelations about its handling of the virus that could expose it to international criticism and financial demands.
China has stifled independent reports on the outbreak and released little information about its research on the origin of the virus.
The World Health Organization this week sent scientists to Wuhan to conduct an investigation into the origin and spread of COVID-19, after months of back and forth discussions with Beijing.
China has firmly rejected calls for an independent external investigation. The WHO chief recently expressed impatience over how long it took China to make arrangements for a team of experts to visit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.