FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo – RC2UNF9XPL14
The World Health Organization has vowed to correct multiple “unintended errors” discovered in its joint report with China regarding the origins of COVID-19, according to a new report.
The purported mistakes are casting doubt on the accuracy of the report, and questions abound over how the errors were made and whether further inaccuracies were missed.
The Washington Post reported that the WHO said it would fix several errors discovered in the report published months ago, including “changing the virus sequence IDs associated with three of the 13 early patients listed in a chart in the report and will clarify that the first family cluster was not linked to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed that the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the origins of the virus did have trouble accessing raw data from the Chinese government. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
A map in the report also appears to show the first known case of the coronavirus being found in an individual who lived on the opposite side of the Yangtze River from where the Wuhan government claimed the person resided when they fell ill on Dec. 8, 2019.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told the news outlet the “editing errors” did not affect “the data analysis process, nor the conclusions” of the report. Jasarevic also dismissed concerns over reporting the accuracy of where the first known patient lived, writing in an email that “the current first known patient is most probably not the first case.”
It is unclear how the errors were discovered, who made the errors, and whether there are other mistakes in the report. The WHO did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Also on Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed that the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the origins of the virus did have trouble accessing raw data from the Chinese government.
The WHO chief told reporters that the U.N. health agency based in Geneva is “asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic.”
Tedros also admitted that his own organization was too quick to rule out the theory that COVID-19 was leaked from a Chinese government lab, after the agency said in a report from March that the lab leak theory was “extremely unlikely.” He said there had been a “premature push” to rule out the theory.
“I was a lab technician myself, I’m an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,” Tedros said. “It’s common.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.