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The World Health Organization says it is unlikely that the coronavirus originated inside a Chinese laboratory.

The announcement came on Tuesday following the WHO investigation into where the virus initially came from. Scientists have been working the past four weeks in the county where the first case was found, Wuhan, China. They have searched tirelessly for clues as to what sparked the pandemic. Their research dismissed theories that the virus was created in a lab and released into the environment. Instead, they were able to find strong evidence suggesting that the disease began in animals.

The long-awaited investigation arrives after several months of negotiations between China and WHO regarding the probe’s arrangements. This delay has raised questions about the reliability of the findings. The scientists visited Huanan Seafood Market, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control laboratory, among other locations, to find the virus’s origins.

While many aspects of the investigation have been kept secret, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO’s food safety and animal disease specialist and chairman of the investigation team, revealed to reporters that animals were the “most likely” culprit in presenting coronavirus to the masses. However, more studies are needed to confirm this.

Scientists did not find evidence of large Covid outbreaks in Wuhan or elsewhere before December 2019. However, they did locate evidence of wider Covid circulation outside the Huanan Seafood Market that month, Ben Embarek stated.

“In terms of understanding what happened in the early days of December 2019, did we change dramatically the picture we had beforehand? I don’t think so,” Ben Embarek said. “Did we improve our understanding? Did we add details to that story? Absolutely.”

The researchers are hopeful that learning more about the earliest known coronavirus cases could help determine how the outbreak began and prevent others in the future.




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‘Impossible to trace.’ Tech savvy dad may be holding daughter captive in WA, cops say

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A father accused of kidnapping his teenage daughter 17 months ago could be holding her captive in Washington, but his technology skills are making it hard for authorities to find him, officials say.

Authorities say John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter, Daphne Westbrook, 17, in October 2019 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a news release posted on Facebook by the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office in Tennessee.

Investigators say Westbrook is holding Daphne against her will and they’re struggling to locate them because he is “an IT expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin.”

Brooke WolfordFri, March 5, 2021, 5:41 AM