News Release

Editorial: Share SARS-CoV-2 data immediately

Reports and Proceedings

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

In an editorial, Maria Van Kerkhove – who serves as the technical lead for the COVID-19 response at the World Health Organization (WHO) – outlines how earlier this month (March 2023), WHO learned that scientists in China possessed data on viral samples from Wuhan that had been gathered in January 2020. “These should have been shared immediately—not 3 years later,” she writes. “The lack of data disclosure is simply inexcusable.” WHO continues to call on China and all countries to share any data on the origins of SARS-CoV-2 immediately. “China has advanced technical capabilities,” Van Kerkhove writes, “and I therefore believe that more data exist that have yet to be shared—on the wild and farmed animal trade; the testing of humans and animals in Wuhan and across China; the operations of labs in Wuhan working on coronaviruses; the earliest potential cases; and more.” She says the world needs to move away from the politics of blame and, instead, exploit all diplomatic and scientific approaches so that the global scientific community can collaborate and find evidence-based solutions to thwart future pandemics.

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