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US politicizing of origins tracing threatens global fight against pandemic

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-08-31 08:22

The dome of the US Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 26, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

The US intelligence community recently concocted a so-called investigation report on COVID-19 virus origins tracing, doing its best to discredit China politically.

It seems that the United States does not want to rely on science or really promote global cooperation on the issue of virus origins tracing, but only to achieve its goal of smearing China, so as to shirk responsibility for its own failures in battling the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, US politicians have put politics above the lives and health of their own people and shown a contempt of science and medical expertise, leading to a catastrophic failure in combating the disease.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, the United States has reported more than 38 million cases and 631,000 deaths, despite the fact that the United States is one of the richest countries in the world and boasts the most advanced medical technologies.

The United States accuses China of being opaque and uncooperative on the issue of origins tracing, completely ignoring the fact that China attaches great importance to and actively participates in global scientific cooperation on the issue based on the principles of science, openness and transparency.

China has invited WHO experts to China twice to conduct research on virus sources tracing.

Early this year, a WHO-China joint study team of leading international and Chinese experts conducted a 28-day research in China and released a joint report containing authoritative, professional and science-based conclusions. This is a good foundation for international cooperation on origins tracing.

Virus origins tracing is a scientific problem. Politicizing the issue will not help but impede this effort. China's position on global origins tracing is consistent and clear: it resolutely opposes politicizing the efforts, especially the so-called origins tracing led by intelligence agencies of the United States, because such activities do not help the global cause of fighting the virus. The virus origins tracing should be comprehensively extended on the basis of the first stage of origins tracing, and it should be carried out in many countries and places around the world, so as to find the truth.

Given that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has received two visits from WHO experts, it is only fair and natural that Fort Detrick base and the University of North Carolina should be put under international investigation, particularly as the United States insists on the lab leak hypothesis.

Fort Detrick is the center of US bio-military activities. After it was shut down in 2019 because of serious safety incidents, disease with symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 broke out in the United States. The US government has not yet given any explanation to the world.

The United States has falsely accused the Wuhan Institute of Virology of causing the pandemic with its coronavirus research. The fact is the United States has sponsored and carried out more such research than any other country. The Baric team of the University of North Carolina leads the world in research of this field and has mature capability in synthesizing and modifying coronavirus. An investigation into the university will clarify whether such research has created or can create the virus that caused COVID-19.

The global fight against the pandemic has made progress but also faces grave challenges. The spread of the Delta variant has caused a resurgence of the pandemic in many countries including the United States. Effectively fighting the pandemic demands close cooperation between scientists of all countries. Politicizing a scientific issue is the last thing the world needs.

The US attempts to politicize origins tracing have found no support and met widespread opposition from the international community: More than 80 countries have written to the WHO Director-General, issued statements, or sent diplomatic notes to voice their objection to the politicization attempts. Over 300 political parties, social organizations and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement to the WHO Secretariat on opposing the politicization of origins tracing.

The United States should listen carefully to these just voices and stop poisoning the scientific atmosphere in which scientific origins tracing should operate. Continuing political manipulation will cost more lives in the United States and worldwide.

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