Politics has no place in origins tracing, says WHO chief scientist

SINGAPORE – Chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) Soumya Swaminathan has called for an evidence-based global scientific effort to understand COVID-19 origins, a Singaporean media outlet reported.

"I think politics has absolutely no place in this because the science behind this is going to be important for all of us, regardless of which country we live in," said Swaminathan in an interview with CAN, an English-language news channel based in Singapore on Aug 23.

"We need to take the politics away from this completely and just let the scientists get on with their jobs," she was quoted as saying.

Swaminathan said the WHO is encouraging "open scientific discussion on the pandemic but that finding who is responsible is probably not the right question to ask."

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"If this was a natural phenomenon, it can happen anywhere. If it's happened in different parts of the world in the past, it can happen tomorrow and anywhere. The next pandemic could be upon us even before we're out of this one," she added.