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China Rejects W.H.O. Investigation into COVID Lab Leak Theory

Beijing says “No way” it can accept the origin tracing study proposal, South China Morning Post reports.

  • Beijing will not accept the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposed second phase investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
  • China is accusing the WHO of “arrogance” and a “disrespect for common sense” with its return to the “lab leak” theory.
  • The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, according to Reuters.
  • 122 of the WHO’s 194 member states were calling for an independent investigation into the outbreak and course of the pandemic as early as May 2020.
WHAT CHINA’S HEALTH COMMISSION IS SAYING:
  • Deputy Minister of the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin rejects the proposed study “because it places the hypothesis that ‘China’s breach of laboratory protocols caused the virus to leak’ as one of the research priorities.”
  • Zeng says none of the staff or postgraduates at the Wuhan Institute of Virology—at the center of the lab leak claims—were infected with the new coronavirus.
  • Zeng also denies the Wuhan lab conducted any gain-of-function studies.
  • “So where did the virus leak due to violation of laboratory protocols [theory] come from?” Zeng told a press conference, according to SCMP. “This phase 2 study of origin tracing is both disrespectful to common sense and contrary to science in some aspects. There is no way that we accept such an origin tracing study proposal.”
  • “For this point, I could sense the disrespect for common sense and the arrogance towards science that the programme reveals.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Senior Biden officials recently admitted that Covid lab leak theory is a credible explanation, as reported by CNN, a dramatic shift from a year ago, when Democrats publicly downplayed the theory. “The fact that the lab leak theory is being seriously considered by top Biden officials is noteworthy and comes amid a growing openness to the idea even though most scientists who study coronaviruses and who have investigated the origins of the pandemic say the evidence strongly supports a natural origin,” writes CNN.
  • WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus presented the plan for phase two.
  • Phase two work “would require studies of humans, wildlife and animal markets in Wuhan, including Huanan wholesale market,” said Tedros.
  • It would also require “audits of relevant laboratories and research institutions operating in the area of the initial human cases identified in December 2019.”
  • Tedros added, “Finding the origins of this virus is a scientific exercise that must be kept free from politics. For that to happen, we expect China to support this next phase of the scientific process by sharing all relevant data in a spirit of transparency.”
  • Conservate voices are worried the foremost efforts to launch independent inquiries into the origins of COVID, such as The Covid Commission Planning Group, are supported by organizations that have funded the work of longtime Wuhan Institute of Virology partner EcoHealth Alliance.