China Repudiates Re-investigation of Virus Origin

Story Highlights
  • China retaliates by participating in re-investigation
  • The first hypothesis of virus genesis was nullified as a conspiracy theory by opponents of former U.S. President Donald Trump
  • US President Biden had directed the US Intelligence to re-probe the situation and issue a fresh report

Beijing: While China has been retaliating against a second probe, in recent development China sought to push against the WHO’s re-investigation into the genesis of the virus. 

A group of Chinese science officials at a news briefing on Thursday, praising efforts by WHO, stated that the lab leak hypothesis was “extremely possible’. 

 The Wuhan laboratory at the centre of the controversy “never had the virus,” said Liang Wannian, an epidemiologist who headed the team of Chinese experts working with the WHO. “There’s no need for us to put more resources into a lab leak probe.” 

WHO in its previous report revealed that the virus spread from an animal source. However, the hypothesis was dismissed as a conspiracy theory by opponents of former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration raised the possibility ahead of the 2020 election. Over a period of time, Wuhan Lab gained traction as scientists questioned China’s reluctance to provide access to the primary source material.

China on Thursday drew a line that indicated Beijing won’t engage in a genesis hunt if the theory remained in play. 

 “The plan on the second phase of the origin study contains language that does not respect science or common sense,” said Zeng Yixin, vice-minister of the National Health Commission. “We won’t follow such a plan.” 

The vocal push back from Beijing comes a week after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for better cooperation from China and noted that there had been a “premature push” to rule out the lab leak theory.

 U.S. President Joe Biden in May had directed the US intelligence community to re-probe the virus genesis and issue a new report.

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