The experts proposed by the U.N. health agency include some who were on the original team that went to the central Chinese city of Wuhan to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
The findings of the original WHO-led team were inconclusive, and the experts released a report concluding it was “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab, prompting criticism from outside scientists that the theory had not been properly vetted. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus later acknowledged it had been “premature” to dismiss the lab theory.
Beijing has repeatedly questioned whether the virus did indeed originate in China, and has called for investigations into U.S. military laboratories without providing any solid evidence.
China has largely stamped out cases of local transmission of COVID-19 infections through mask wearing, quarantining and electronic case tracing, along with sometimes draconian measures including lockdowns and mandatory mass testing.