Written Question: The origin of SARS-CoV-2 after the latest clues on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)
(Source: European Parliament)
Date Submitted: 31 May 2021
Question for oral answer O-000039/2021
to the Council
Marco Zanni, Marco Campomenosi, Jörg Meuthen, Jaak Madison, Harald Vilimsky, Roman Haider, Gerolf Annemans
on behalf of the ID Group
Subject: The origin of SARS-CoV-2 after the latest clues on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)
The cost in terms of human lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic is significant in absolute value, with more than 3.5 million deaths, in addition to the costs of rising levels of poverty, lives upended, careers derailed and increased social unrest. The pandemic has negatively affected global economic growth beyond anything experienced in nearly a century apart from the Second World War.
The Chinese government has a political stake in the origins of the pandemic: since the initial emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China has focused on controlling not only the coronavirus itself but also of information about it.
The recent global study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese authorities started as an investigation and then turned into a simple joint study, in which the WHO-led team lacked the mandate and access necessary to investigate the outbreak independently and thoroughly.
Despite the report’s conclusions that the virus was most likely transferred to humans from bats via another animal, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown and more research is needed.
According to a previously undisclosed US intelligence report, the theory that it was caused by a laboratory leak needs to be seriously considered. In fact, the report identified three researchers from the WIV that already in November 2019 became sick with a flu-like illness and had to be hospitalised, shortly before the Chinese authorities identified the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on 8 December 2019.
1. How will the Council together with the Member States provide political support to the US investigation in order to intensify their efforts to identify the origins of SARS-CoV-2? In case, will the Council recommend coordination and encourage the cooperation of Member States’ security and intelligence services present in the area?
2. What is the Council’s view on the conduct of the WHO during the COVID-19 pandemic? What measures will the Council take, where appropriate, in respect of the WHO and on behalf of the governments of the Member States with the aim of ensuring a prompt and transparent investigation on the origin of SARS-CoV-2?