China rejects WHO plan for COVID-19 origin study
China has rejected the World Health Organization's plan for a second phase investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
The plan includes the hypothesis that the virus may have escaped a Chinese laboratory, and the proposal includes audits of laboratories and markets in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
On Thursday (July 22), Vice Minister of the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin told reporters that he was stunned when he read the details:
"To be honest, I was very surprised when I first saw the WHO second phase, an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. Because in this plan, the hypothesis is that China's violation of laboratory procedures is causing virus leakage, one of the research priorities. " . In this regard, I believe the plan is lacking in common sense and defying science. "
The origin of the virus remains controversial among experts.
The first known cases occurred in Wuhan in December 2019.
The virus was believed to have spread from animals to humans sold for food in a city market.
A joint report in March by a WHO-led team that spent four weeks with Chinese researchers in and around Wuhan confirmed this thesis.
It said that the laboratory leak theory was "extremely unlikely".
But other countries, including the US, and some scientists were not satisfied with this conclusion.
In May, President Joe Biden said US intelligence agencies are pursuing rival theories, possibly including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.
The laboratory in question is the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which did research on bats that transmit coronavirus.
An important part of laboratory leak theory centered on his decision to take his gene sequence and sample database offline in 2019.
At the press conference, Zeng, along with other officials and Chinese experts, urged WHO to expand tracing efforts beyond China to other countries.
He accused the WHO of politicizing the study.
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