Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday told the World Health Organization (WHO) that it “must” launch a more “transparent” investigation into the origins of the coronavirus amid mounting evidence that the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab in China.
After the WHO appeared complicit with China’s efforts to cover up the severity of the virus’s spread, former President Trump severed ties with the international organization. The Biden administration rejoined the WHO this year, but it has remained critical of the lack of transparency in the group’s reports on the early spread of the virus in China.
“The COVID-19 pandemic not only stole a year from our lives, it stole millions of lives,” Becerra said in an address to the World Health Assembly, a conference organized by the WHO. “Now we must honor our departed by taking urgent action this year — to strengthen health security and pandemic preparedness so that we are better prepared for the next global health crisis.”