The genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, or simply the coronavirus, which causes the disease Covid-19, which swept the world as a pandemic between 2020 and 2022, has been submitted to a database from the US National Institute of Health (NIH). Two weeks before its launch by the Chinese government.
Information from documents shared with US lawmakers was released last Wednesday, 17.
Although the virus appeared on American soil, the genetic sequence does not indicate the origin of the coronavirus, but it contradicts the Chinese government's claims about its knowledge of the information, an expert told CNN International.
The failure to detect the emergence of the virus at that time may have cost critical weeks in developing a vaccine against the disease.
Also according to CNN, on December 28, 2019, virologist Dr. Lily Ren, of the Institute of Pathogen Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, submitted the genetic sequence to GenBank, according to a letter sent in December by Dr. Melanie Egorin to the president of U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
GenBank is “a genomic sequence repository that collects, preserves and provides public access to collected and annotated nucleotide sequence data from all domains of life.” It is managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health.
However, the virologist's report “was incomplete and did not contain the information necessary for publication,” the letter delivered to US lawmakers said. As a result, Ren received a resubmission three days later, but “the NIH never received the requested additional information.”
Then, according to the document, the submission was removed from the processing queue on January 16, 2020 and “the sequence was never made publicly available on GenBank.”
Another sequence, different from the one initially sent but “almost identical” to Ren's, was published in GenBank on January 12, a day after the WHO announced it had received the sequence from China, Egorin said.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The term “pandemic” refers to the geographical distribution of the disease and not to its severity.
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