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

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, told a press conference in Beijing that he was “surprised” to see the lab leak listed as a research target in the second. investigation phase.

“In some ways, the WHO’s plan for the next phase of investigation into the origin of the coronavirus does not respect common sense, and it is against the science. It is impossible for us to accept such a plan, ”he said.

Zeng also appeared to respond to claims by the US State Department that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill shortly before the first documented cases of Covid-19, claiming that “no worker or researcher in the WIV has only been infected with a coronavirus “.

The WHO released an initial report of its investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in March, in which it determined that the virus likely originated from an animal before spreading to humans around December 2019.
But a growing number of Western countries, including G7 leaders, have questioned the thoroughness of the initial report.
United States President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to take a fresh look at how the Covid-19 pandemic began, noting that Western observers have yet to gain access to key labs to determine “if this was an experiment gone wrong.”

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 coronavirus research was conducted on bats, and many scientists familiar with the research say such a leak is unlikely.

However, in March, a member of the WHO team who helped oversee the initial investigation said the Wuhan lab’s leak theory “had not received the same depth of attention and work. Than the animal hypothesis.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has joined calls for China to cooperate more fully with a new investigation into the origins of Covid-19 on July 15, saying the first was hampered by a lack of raw data on the first days of the pandemic.

“We ask China to be transparent and open and to cooperate,” he said at a press conference. “We owe it to the millions of people who have suffered and the millions who have died to know what happened.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on July 16 that the government had fully cooperated with the original investigation and denied claims that researchers were denied access to places or to data.

“China’s position on the question of global origin research is consistent and clear. (The) study of origins is a scientific matter. All parties should respect scientists’ opinions and scientific conclusions, instead to politicize the issue, “he said.

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