Washington: Unless there is a proper understanding of the origin of the COVID, there could be many more emergences of COVID in the futures, a leading virologist warned.
Peter Hotez, an expert in the coronavirus in NBC News's "Meet The Press" on Sunday, said that the world needs the cooperation of the Chinese government to trace the origins of Covid-19 and prevent future pandemic threats.
"We need a team of scientists, epidemiologists, virologists, bat ecologists in Hubei province for a six-month, year-long period," Hotez said.
Hotez in a separate TV appearance had said that now knowing how the pandemic started puts the world at risk of future outbreaks.
Meanwhile, Scott Gottlieb, a commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who now sits on the board of Pfizer Inc has said that the information support the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, has increased.
Although the search for signs that the virus emerged from wildlife hasn't yielded results, China hasn't provided evidence to disprove the theory either, Gottlieb said on CBS News's "Face the Nation.
Last week, President Biden had ordered a fresh 90-day intelligence review of the virus's origins to examine the possibility that it accidentally leaked from the Wuhan lab instead of being spread by bats or other animals to humans in a zoonotic transmission.
Almost a year and a half after the new pathogen was first detected spreading in a seafood market in Wuhan, China and claiming the lives of many, the precise origins of the virus remain obscure. Scientists have hypothesized that it most likely spread from wild animals to humans. The idea that the virus may have accidentally escaped from a research lab, long promoted by some Republicans, has gotten renewed attention from the Biden administration.
The debate over the virus's origin was fueled anew by a Wall Street Journal report on May 23 that three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care for "symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness."
However, China had dismissed the report as "totally untrue".