- Peter Ben Embarek, a top investigator at the WHO who led a probe into the origins of Covid-19, has been dismissed for sexual misconduct after two complaints were upheld following investigations that took several years to complete.
- The WHO said there were other allegations against Ben Embarek that could not be fully investigated because the alleged victim(s) declined to engage with the investigation process.
- Ben Embarek endorsed some key elements of China’s account of the virus outbreak, saying it was extremely unlikely that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan because of the safety protocols there.
- The disclosure of Ben Embarek’s dismissal will add to mounting concerns over the WHO’s work culture and the systems that were in place for dealing with allegations of wrongdoing by employees.
- In a separate scandal, WHO staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo were accused of sexual assault during an Ebola outbreak in 2021.
Financial Times — World — WHO investigator fired — Sexual Misconduct Allegations — World Health Organization — Donato Paolo Mancini
Top WHO Covid investigator fired for sexual misconduct
A top WHO investigator who led a probe into the origins of Covid-19 has been fired for sexual misconduct after investigations upheld two complaints. The WHO faces mounting concerns about its work culture and systems for handling allegations of wrongdoing by employees.