The White House has called on China to make available data from the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it has “deep concerns” about the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 report.
It comes after a member of the WHO team investigating the virus said China refused to provide the data, potentially complicating efforts to understand the origins of the outbreak.
The team had requested raw patient data on 174 cases China identified from the early phase of the outbreak in the city of Wuhan in December 2019, as well as other cases.
But it has only been provided with a summary, Australian microbiologist and team member Dominic Dwyer says.
China has not responded to the allegation but has previously insisted it was transparent with the WHO.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Saturday said it was crucial the report was free from intervention from the Chinese government.
“We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them,” he said.
“It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government.
“To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak.”
Sullivan said going forward all countries, including China, should participate in a transparent and robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies.
A WHO-led mission spent four weeks in China looking into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It said it was not looking further into the question of whether the virus escaped from a lab, which it considered highly unlikely.
The Trump administration had said it suspected the virus may have escaped from a Chinese lab, which Beijing strongly denies.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said all hypotheses are still open about the origins of COVID-19.
A summary of the team’s findings could be released as early as next week, the WHO said.