03:58 GMT03 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Peter Daszak, an expert of the WHO fact finding mission to China's Wuhan, called on Wednesday for not relying "too much" on US intelligence related to COVID-19, citing its questionable credibility.

    Earlier in the day, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the United States would not recognize the WHO mission's findings on the origins of the coronavirus unless they are verified via its own intelligence. The mission has yet to release the report.

    "[US President] Joe Biden has to look tough on China. Please don’t rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under [former US President Donald] Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects. Happy to help [the White House] w/ their quest to verify, but don’t forget it’s 'TRUST' then 'VERIFY'!" Daszak said on Twitter.

    Another member of the WHO team, Marion Koopmans, reacted to Washington's statement by pointing out that it came before the mission even released the report.

    "And so it starts. No need to wait for the report, right?" Koopmans tweeted.

    The WHO already sent missions to China in February and July of last year. The current mission worked since mid-January and had its last day on Wednesday. It tackled the issues pertaining to where the coronavirus had originated and how it got to spread around the globe.

    The mission has probed several sites in Wuhan under suspicion of being the original source of COVID-19, including a wet market and the BSL-4 high-security lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. On Tuesday, the experts said that the leak of the virus from the lab was unlikely, while the wet market's role was not yet clarified.

    Wuhan, COVID-19, US, China, World Health Organization (WHO)
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