Despite public statements denying any level of certainty regarding the origins of SARS-CoV-2, WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus privately believes that the novel coronavirus was the result of a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Dr. Tedros confided his thoughts to a European politician described as a "senior government source," who divulged the information to the Mail on Sunday.
The Institute of Virology in Wuhan is one of the largest such institutions in the world and the only institution in China that researches "gain of function" in viruses, manipulating them in order to make them more virulent or change their characteristics in some other form. Such research has been conducted in Wuhan for decades, and has been partially funded by the U.S. government.
The National Institutes of Health recently admitted that it had hidden information related to COVID-19's origins, in accordance with a Chinese request.
A recent WHO investigation into the origins of the pandemic was roundly criticized for failure to penetrate into the opaque Chinese system; the delegation sent to China was not granted access to any of the sites or researchers it needed to examine in order to conduct anything even vaguely resembling a genuine inquiry.
In public, Dr. Tedros continues to insist that "all hypotheses are on the table" and has not indicated that evidence is stronger for any one of them.
Speaking to WHO member states earlier this month, he said, "We do not yet have the answers as to where it came from or how it entered the human population. Understanding the origins of the virus is very important scientifically to prevent future epidemics and pandemics.
"But morally, we also owe it to all those who have suffered and died and their families. The longer it takes, the harder it becomes. We need to speed up and act with a sense of urgency.
"All hypotheses must remain on the table until we have evidence that enables us to rule certain hypotheses in or out," he stressed. "This makes it all the more urgent that this scientific work be kept separate from politics. The way to prevent politicisation is for countries to share data and samples with transparency and without interference from any government. The only way this scientific work can progress successfully is with full collaboration from all countries, including China, where the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 were reported."