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China Rejects WHO Plan to Reinvestigate Covid Lab-Leak Theory
Published on: 2021-07-23
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China will not accept the World Health Organization’s plan for a second-phase investigation into the origins of coronavirus in the country, the deputy director of the National Health Commission said Thursday.

Move on to more countries Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said at Thursday's media briefing on COVID-19 origins that China has submitted phase-2 COVID-19 origins-tracing recommendations to the WHO believing the study should be based on the WHO-China joint study in January, and should be carried out in many more places around the world after full consultations with member states.

The WHO on Friday proposed a second phase study into the origins of the coronavirus in China, which includes studies of animal markets in and around Wuhan and audits of relevant labs and research institutions operating in the area of the initial human cases identified in December 2019.

Zeng said that he was "shocked" to read the proposal and he could sense the "lack of respect for common sense and the arrogance to science in the proposal."

"It's impossible for us to accept such a plan," Zeng said, noting that the second phase study should not be carried out in places that have already been inspected in the first phase study, especially places where a clear conclusion has been reached.

Liang Wannian, team leader of the Chinese side of the WHO-China joint expert team on the COVID-19 origins, said at the briefing that we believe that the lab leak theory is highly unlikely, and there is no need to invest more data and resources in that area.

"If some countries believe that further investigation in this area should be carried out, then the investigations should be conducted in labs that have not yet been inspected," Liang said.

Liang said at the media briefing that multiple studies in different countries point to the possibility that COVID-19 had surfaced before the cases previously reported.







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