NEW YORK, May 31. / TASS /. Experts need to find out under what circumstances the new coronavirus began to spread in order to avoid a repeat of this in the future. Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Peter Hotes, expressed this opinion on Sunday on NBC.
According to the expert, who is also one of the leaders of the Texas Vaccine Development Center, getting this information is “vital.” “This is the third large-scale epidemic or pandemic of the coronavirus in the 21st century,” he stated. “Mother Nature makes us understand what will happen next. If we do not fully understand the origin of COVID-19, then there will be COVID-26 and COVID-32,” Hotes said.
According to the specialist, a group of scientists, including virologists, epidemiologists, and experts on bats, should be sent to Hubei province for at least six months. According to Hotes, scientists should collect samples of the virus, as well as the blood of people and animals. “We need to do this. It is not only in the interests of China or the United States, but the whole world,” Hotes added.
The expert acknowledged that such research is hardly possible without Beijing’s cooperation. “I think we need to really push hard on China, this includes the possibility of imposing sanctions,” he said.
In March, an international group of experts published a report on a trip to China in January-February to investigate the origin of the new coronavirus. Experts could not come to an unambiguous conclusion. According to the final document of the mission, they consider the most likely scenario according to which there was a transmission of coronavirus between animals, and then to humans. The least likely is the emergence of the virus in the laboratory.
Immediately after the publication of the report, the United States, as well as Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Israel, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Estonia, South Korea and Japan, expressed concern about the WHO study in China. There was no direct criticism of the conclusions in the statement of 14 countries, but it was noted that the work of the experts was carried out with a significant delay, without access to full information and samples.