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Catastrophic accident in US, perhaps: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-23 20:54

In a report on the weekend, the United Kingdoms' Mail on Sunday quoted an anonymous "senior Government source" as claiming World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus "believes" the COVID-19 pandemic most likely originated from a "catastrophic accident" at a laboratory in Wuhan.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the WHO Secretariat had clarified the matter to the Chinese side, emphasizing the WHO chief had never made any such claims "on any public or private occasions".

The contents of the report you cited "were completely untrue", the spokesman told his questioner. "The Director-General is completely opposed to the corresponding contents in the report".

As always, the spokesman stressed that the lab leak hypothesis "has nothing to do with science", being a "complete lie" that the anti-China forces have fabricated for political purposes.

Once again, he highlighted the fact that a WHO-dispatched team of international experts had made an inspection trip to the said lab in Wuhan, and it had concluded that it was "extremely unlikely" a leak from the lab was the source of the pandemic.

He brushed aside the newspaper report as "malicious political manipulation" intended to smear China, obstruct scientific source-tracing and international anti-pandemic cooperation.

And once again, he pointed out that the United States has yet to respond to the international community's reasonable concerns about the earliest date of outbreak in the US, as well as the activities at such "highly suspicious labs as those at Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina".

If any parties are truly concerned about ferreting out the novel coronavirus' real origin, they should shift their focus of attention to the US instead, he suggested.

There has been much speculation worldwide about the two US facilities being the possible source of the virus. The US government's constant refusal to allow any WHO inspection and its non-stop efforts to pin the blame on the Wuhan lab have only served to fuel suspicions that it has something to hide.

While tracing the origin of the outbreak would provide a better understanding of how the pandemic originated, spread and evolved, the US refusal to allow any investigation on its soil means our understanding of the pandemic will be perennially limited to what we know now.

If the international scientific community can't get rid of political interference and conduct an independent probe to trace the origin of the virus, the risks of similar outbreaks in the future remain.

All the attempts at stonewalling the science, therefore, are against humanity.

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