(Big League Politics) – A COVID-19 expert has warned that future COVID pandemics are significantly more likely if scientists don’t fully investigate the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“There’s going to be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19,” said Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics, molecular virology, and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Appearing on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, Hotez stated that an outbreak investigation is “absolutely essential” to preventing future pandemics.
“I think the intelligence community has been all over this for the last year-and-a-half,” he told Chuck Todd. “I’m personally of the opinion that we’ve pushed intelligence about as far as we can. We need to do an outbreak investigation. We need the team of scientists, of epidemiologists, virologists […] in Hubei province for a six-month to yearlong period and fully unravel the origins of COVID-19.”
Hotez continued by saying that these scientists will need to collect virus and blood samples from livestock, bats, laboratory animals, and other sources to glean a full picture of the virus’ origins. He did not rule out a natural origin, but neither did he seem to rule out the possibility that its origin was not natural.
Big League Politics has reported that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized with an undisclosed illness in November 2019, appearing to confirm long-held suspicions that COVID-19 came from that lab, not a wet market:
The Wall Street Journal has reported that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China were hospitalized with an illness in November 2019—just a few weeks prior to the first officially recorded case of COVID-19.
The WSJ’s source is a “previously undisclosed” US intelligence report. Details provided in the report “go beyond” a Trump-era State Department fact sheet which claimed that several researchers at the Wuhan lab fell ill in fall 2019 “with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illness.”