Marsha Blackburn Warns Biden to Ensure WHO Investigation Is 'Free From Conflict of Interest'

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Posted: Mar 02, 2021 12:35 PM
Marsha Blackburn Warns Biden to Ensure WHO Investigation Is 'Free From Conflict of Interest'

Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) are currently investigating the origin of the coronavirus in Wuhan, and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is urging President Biden to ensure that the probe is “free from conflicts of interest.”

Concerns about the objectivity of the investigation were previously raised, as the Chinese government’s willingness to cooperate with scrutiny is questionable and the potential biases of the investigators were not fully known. 

Blackburn raised questions about a potential “lack of transparency” from the Chinese government, arguing that the probe is too important to have conflicts of interest present. 

“Concerns have been raised about the lack of transparency of the events that took place at the time the outbreak started in Wuhan, China. In addition, concerns have been raised regarding the manner in which World Health Organization investigators were chosen to study the outbreak and some of the conflicts of interest that exist in those investigators,” she wrote to Biden. “Transparency is an issue upon which we can agree. In light of that, I respectfully request you use your leadership to ensure the ongoing investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic origin be free from conflict of interest. WHO should be required to have independent investigators to conduct this study. WHO should not include researchers with conflicts of interest or with a lack of experience in forensic investigation. We owe this to the over 500,000 Americans who have died from this disease, to their families, and to future Americans who face possible pandemics.”

Concerns about the objectivity of the investigation are also shared by members of the Biden administration:

“We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in February. “It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government.”

The president himself has not yet expressed direct concerns about the fairness of the investigation.