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China Calls COVID-19 ‘Lab Leak’ Theory A Lie After WHO Report

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China Calls COVID-19 ‘Lab Leak’ Theory A Lie After WHO Report

(CTN News) – On Friday, China attacked the theory that the coronavirus pandemic may have originated as a leak from a Chinese laboratory as a political lie after the World Health Organization called for an investigation into whether a laboratory accident was responsible.

Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, rejected accusations of insufficient cooperation, saying that China welcomed scientific investigations, but rejected political manipulation.

Also, he called for an investigation into “highly suspicious laboratories such as Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina” in the United States where China has suggested, without evidence, that the US was developing the coronavirus for bioweapons.

“The lab leak theory has nothing to do with science, and is a political lie concocted by anti-China forces,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.

We support and participate in science-based global virus tracing, but we oppose political interference,” he said.

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China has made major contributions to virus tracing, sharing the most data and research results, Zhao said.

Chinese support for the work of the WHO and the advisory group “fully demonstrates its open, transparent, and responsible approach,” he said.

In its report released Thursday, the WHO reversed its initial assessment of the pandemic’s origins. Critics had accused WHO of dismissing or underplaying a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.

After a tightly controlled visit to China last year, the WHO concluded that it was “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus could have spread from a lab in Wuhan. Scientists suspect the coronavirus jumped from bats to humans, possibly via another animal.

According to the WHO report, “key pieces of data” to explain how the pandemic began are still missing. The scientists said they would “remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future.”

It took scientists over a decade to identify the species of bats that were the natural reservoir for SARS, a relative of COVID-19.

WHO experts noted that lab accidents in the past have caused outbreaks, so the highly politicized theory cannot be discounted.

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