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US slams WHO’s terms for inquiry into COVID-19 origins

The US said Tuesday that the terms under which a team of experts from the World Health Organization will investigate the origins of the coronavirus “were not were not negotiated in a transparent way,” according to a report.

Team Trump has accused the UN agency of being “China-centric” — which its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has denied — and has accused Beijing of having hidden the extent of the initial outbreak.

Garrett Grigsby, head of the global affairs office at the US Department of Health and Human Services, on Tuesday told the WHO’s ministerial assembly that member states had been made aware of the probe’s terms of reference just days ago, Reuters reported.

“The TOR (terms of reference) were not negotiated in a transparent way with all WHO member states. The TOR and the investigation itself appear to be inconsistent with the mandate provided by member states,” he said without elaboration.

On Oct. 30, Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, said the WHO-led scientists and their Chinese counterparts had held a first virtual meeting about investigations into the origin of the bug, which emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year.

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