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Chinese government rejects WHO plan for second phase of Covid-19 origins study

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Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, told a news conference in Beijing that he was “surprised” to see the laboratory leaked as a research target in the second phase of the investigation.

“In some respects, the WHO plan for the next phase of research into the origin of coronavirus does not respect common sense and is against science. It is impossible for us to accept that plan,” he said.

Zeng also appeared to respond to claims by the U.S. State Department that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill shortly before the first documented cases of Covid-19, saying that “no WIV worker or researcher was infected with coronavirus “.

The WHO published an initial report of its research on the origins of Covid-19 in March, in which it was determined that the virus probably originated in an animal before spreading to humans around December 2019.
But a growing number of Western nations, including the G7 leaders, they have questioned the completeness of the original report.

U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to reconsider how the Covid-19 pandemic began, noting that Western observers have not yet been granted the access to key labs to determine “if it was a messy experiment.”

Little new evidence has emerged to support the theory that the virus was the result of an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where it was believed that coronavirus research was conducted on bats and many scientists. familiar with the research say this leak is unlikely.

However, in March, a member of the WHO team Whoever helped oversee the original research said Wuhan Lab’s leak theory “did not receive the same depth of attention and work” as the animal hypothesis.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined the calls for China to cooperate more fully a new investigation into the origins of Covid-19 on July 15, saying the former had been hampered by a lack of raw data from the early days of the pandemic.

“We call on China to be transparent and open and to cooperate,” he said at a news conference. “We owe it to the millions who suffered and the millions who died to find out what happened.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on July 16 that the government had fully cooperated with the initial investigation and denied allegations that investigators did not have access to it. any location or data.

“China’s position on the issue of the path of global origin is consistent and clear. (The study of origins) is a scientific issue. All parties should respect the views of scientists and scientific conclusions, rather than politicize the issue, ”he said.

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