Regarding the Feb. 10 news article “WHO team no closer to learning origins of novel coronavirus”:

Many mistakenly believe that the scientific community is in agreement that the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is most likely of zoonotic transfer from bats to an intermediate animal to humans. The truth of the matter is that we are lacking the background information that is critical to making this determination. 

As David A. Relman was quoted as saying in the article, “If the only information . . . is provided by the very people who have everything to lose . . . that just doesn’t come close to passing the sniff test.” There continues to be a lack of transparency as to what research was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including studies funded by U.S. taxpayers through the Defense Department and the National Institutes of Health. This lack of transparency includes American scientists unwilling to thoroughly investigate or inform the public. 

At the very least, the public needs to know that lab research looking for the next pandemic includes passaging zoonotic viruses through multiple animal cell cultures to see whether a highly transmissible pathogenic human virus can be created.

Bette Goldman, Lewes, Del.