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the coronavirus crisis

WHO chief surprisingly says coronavirus origin question warrants further investigation

The World Health Organization on Tuesday released a report on the origins of the coronavirus that sparked the ongoing pandemic and how it may have first spread to humans.

There were no hard conclusions, but the report, drafted by a 34-member team of Chinese scientists and international experts who searched for clues in Wuhan, China, dismissed the theory that the virus may have first jumped to humans as a result of a laboratory accident as "extremely unlikely." However, in what The New York Times described as "an unexpected move," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the question deserves another look.

"I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough ... although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy," Tedros said in prepared remarks during a briefing of member states.

The consensus in the scientific community still seems to be that the virus jumped from bats to an intermediary species that infected a human in nature, perhaps at a wet market, but there is a growing minority that believes the accidental lab leak theory deserves at least serious consideration. Read more at The New York Times and check out Tedros' full remarks here.