China rejects WHO’s plan for further probe into the origins of COVID-19

President Biden had ordered the US Intelligence Agencies to carry out an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in May.

According to a top official, the Chinese government has rejected to be a part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan to conduct the second phase of an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 due to the possibilities of lab leak theory.

In July, the proposal for a second phase of the probe in China included audits of laboratories and markets from Wuhan alongside transparency from authorities.

Last week, WHO Head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said that finding the origins of COVID-19 was a scientific exercise that needed to be separated 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”, he continued.

National Health Commission’s (NHC) Vice President, Zeng Yixin, told reporters in the capital city of Beijing, “We will not accept such an origins-tracing plan as it, in some aspects, disregards common sense and defies science.” He has said that he was surprised at lab leak theory being considered as a research objective under the probe’s second phase.

In addition, he responded to the US State Department’s accusations of Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WUV) workers falling sick before the first documented infections of COVID-19, stating that no worker or researcher at the institute was infected by the coronavirus.

In March, a report released by WHO had dismissed the lab leak theory, which ended up being controversial and harshly criticized by several governments.

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