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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.
 

中国拒第二阶段溯源调查计划

今年初,世卫组织国际专家来华开展新冠病毒溯源工作。专家在华调查期间,中方全力支持,专家们去了所有他们想去的地方。今年3月30日,世卫组织发布了中国-世卫组织新冠病毒溯源联合研究报告,报告认为新冠病毒极不可能通过实验室传人。这一研究结果,得到了大多数科学家的支持。但是美国方面却一直炒作“病毒实验室泄露论”,将病毒溯源政治化。
 

今年5月份,美国总统拜登向美国情报部门发布命令,要求他们在90天内给出新冠溯源结果,并想发起针对中国的第二阶段溯源调查。此后,美国方面频频向世卫组织施压,美国的盟友也在一旁鼓噪。在美国的压力之下,世卫组织提出了新冠病毒溯源第二阶段计划,但是新的溯源计划明显是冲着中国而来,世卫组织总干事谭德塞前不久的一番言论就说明了这一点。
 

7月14日,谭德塞在记者发布会上表示,世卫组织已经开展了第二阶段的调查研究,希望中国保持透明、开放和合作。谭德塞还声称,中国方面当时没有提供疫情初期的原始数据,因此希望这一次能够提供武汉实验室的明确信息。此外,谭德塞称现在放弃人造病毒的理论为时过早,因为他曾经是一位在实验室工作过的实验员和免疫学家,而实验室发生过事故。
 

谭德塞的这番言论,在国际上和国内都引发了巨大不满,一共有55个国家致函谭德塞,反对将溯源问题政治化。7月22日,国务院新闻办公室举行新闻发布会,介绍新冠病毒溯源有关情况,对世卫组织提出的新冠病毒溯源第二阶段计划进行了回应。国家卫生健康委副主任曾益新明确表示,中国不接受世卫组织提出的这个计划,并且批评计划不尊重常识。
 

曾益新指出,世卫组织提出的新计划,将“中国违反实验室规则造成病毒泄漏”作为研究重点之一,透露着出对常识的不尊重和对科学的傲慢态度,中方不可能接受这样的计划。曾益新还表示,他在听到这个计划的时候,感到十分吃惊。曾益新同时强调,关于“违反实验室规程导致的病毒泄漏”的说法,既违反常识也违背科学规律。

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