China is not interested in WHO’s plan to further study the origin of COVID-19
A senior Chinese health official said on Thursday that China cannot accept the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of research on the origin of COVID-19.
Zeng Yixin, deputy minister of the National Health Commission, said that the plan included further investigation into the theory that the virus may have leaked from a Chinese laboratory, which surprised him.
He believes that the theory is a rumor that runs counter to common sense and science.
“It is impossible for us to accept such an origin tracking plan,” he said at a press conference to address the origin of COVID-19.
Finding the origin of the virus has become a diplomatic issue, deteriorating China’s relations with the United States and many of its allies. The United States and other countries say that China is not transparent about what happened in the early stages of the pandemic. China accuses critics of politicizing an issue that should be left to scientists.
WHO Director-General Tan Desai admitted last week that it is too early to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and the Chinese government’s laboratory leak in Wuhan, which first detected the disease at the end of 2019.
Most experts believe that laboratory leaks are not the probable cause. The question is whether this possibility is too small to give up, or whether it is worthy of further study.
Watch “Vanity Fair” reporter’s investigation article on laboratory leak theory:
The first phase was carried out earlier this year by an international team of scientists who came to Wuhan to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts. The team was accused of succumbing to Chinese demands after initially stating that no further research was necessary.
Zeng said that the Wuhan laboratory does not have a virus that can directly infect humans, and pointed out that the WHO team concluded that the possibility of laboratory leakage is very small. He added that speculation that laboratory staff and graduate students have been infected and may cause the virus to spread in the city is untrue.
The director of the laboratory denies the design of the new coronavirus
Yuan Zhiming, director of the Biosafety Laboratory of Wuhan Institute of Virology, said that before the outbreak, they did not store or study the new coronavirus.
“What I want to emphasize is… Wuhan Institute of Virology has never designed, manufactured or leaked a new type of coronavirus,” he said.
The WHO research team concluded that the virus is most likely to be transmitted from animals to humans, possibly from bats to intermediate animals. The experts visited the market in Wuhan that sells live animals and suggested further research on the farms that supply the market.
“In the next step, I think animal tracking should still be a priority. This is the most valuable area of ??our efforts,” said Liang Wannian, the Chinese leader, at a press conference on Thursday.
Watch | Fauci, Sen. Rand Paul clashed angrily over US research funding on July 20:
Tedros said last week that he hopes to strengthen cooperation and obtain data from China. He said: “We require China to maintain transparency, openness and cooperation, especially in the information and raw data we requested in the early stages of the pandemic.”
German Health Minister Jens Span also responded to his words at the same virtual press conference, calling on China to strengthen cooperation to find the source of the virus.
Zeng Qinghong said that China has always supported “scientific virus tracking” and hopes to extend this research to other countries and regions. “However, we are opposed to politicizing tracking,” he said.
China often tries to evade allegations that the pandemic originated in Wuhan, and it spread because of early bureaucratic errors and attempts to cover it up.
Day 610:27Why scientists are rethinking laboratory leak theory when determined to understand the origin of COVID-19
A government spokesperson called for investigations into whether the virus may have been produced in a US military laboratory. This theory has not spread widely in the scientific community.
China has basically put an end to the local spread of COVID-19 through lockdowns and wearing masks. So far, more than 1.4 billion doses of Chinese vaccines have been vaccinated. Only 12 new cases of domestic transmission were reported on Thursday, and China said the death toll from the virus has remained unchanged at 4,636 for several months.